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Senator distances himself from Baringo-Turkana conflict

06 November 2014, 10:49 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – West Pokot Senator, John Lonyangapuo, has refuted allegations reported in the media by some Turkana County MPs linking him to the ongoing conflict between the Pokot and Turkana communities.

Lonyangapuo said he is among the peace loving leaders in North Rift region who has personally attempted to establish the root cause of sudden killings of innocent residents and police, an effort he claims the leaders are using to implicate him.

“I would like to set the record straight by refuting these allegations very strongly because they are baseless and far from the truth. I strongly condemn any act of banditry in the said counties or elsewhere,” said Lonyangapuo.

From his own inquiry into the conflict that even led to the killing of 24 police officers in Kapedo, the West Pokot Senator hinted that the beheading and disappearance the head of a young man of Pokot origin is the root cause of the ongoing retaliatory killings in the region.

Lonyangapuo revealed that the beheaded young man was riding a motorbike to Kapedo shopping center when bandits attacked him and committed the heinous act on August 30, 2014.

Read Also: Residents flee as security officers intensify operation

“His head has not been traced up to now and the headless body is still lying in Kabarnet District Mortuary in Baringo County,” said Lonyangapuo.

Efforts by locals to get help from the GSU, chiefs and the District Commissioner in tracing the head for burial of the body have been futile.

“To make things worse, the said killer posted the head of that young man on Facebook with the inscription 'here is the head of the devil.' I have been informed that this is what led to the blockage of the road in and outside Kapedo hence the mess we are in,” said Lonyangapuo.

He lashed out claims that the conflict is as a result of the discovered oil and water in Turkana County, which he claims had also been blamed on him by some leaders in the region.

“I have been accused of perpetuating lawlessness in a camouflage for scramble for minerals and oil in Turkana County. This cannot be further from the truth. The oil and mineral issue has nothing to do with the current conflict,” said Lonyangapuo.

He also warned that there are some individuals opening Facebook accounts in his name purporting to be the West Pokot Senator and posting messages of hatred, and thus called on the intelligence agency to conduct investigation and arrest the responsible culprits.

Lonyangapuo further urged the two conflicting communities to live in peace and challenged the government to do thorough investigation to ascertain the root cause of the conflict and bring the perpetrators of the killings to book.

The West Pokot Senator was delivering his statement before the floor of the Senate presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Kembi Gitura.  

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