Tana Delta needs more than just security officers
11 January 2013, 11:26
Since the start of the clashes in Tana Delta region, approximately 150 lives have been lost.
This is no small number by any means.
It is therefore a matter of national importance and the relevant security bodies need to act swiftly to avert a catastrophe.
The police force is being blamed for the lack of security and peace among the residents in the area but I would rather blame the bodies tasked with the duty of fostering peace and cohesion between communities.
When the constitution was promulgated it came with so many commissions; some new others already there but just changing identity or structures.
These commissions were tasked with various duties ranging from employment of personnel to dealing with various social issues.
The main bodies that were formed so as to deal with peace and cohesion were; the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.
These two bodies were mandated to operate within the confines of Kenya in a bid to foster peace, reconciliation and cohesion.
How well these three major objectives have been achieved leaves a lot to be desired.
The TJRC came into existence and for the better part of its lifetime was faced with wrangles among its top officials.
This factor hindered it from achieving its main set objectives thus being considered a complete failure.
We should have acted quickly as a country to ensure things are settled and the commission hits the ground running but instead we sat back and watched as the chairman was fought from all quarters.
Months after its lifespan elapsed and look at the state of affairs.
The country is not at peace and attacks are being perpetrated in various regions.
Revenge attacks are inevitable since communities feel the need to retaliate and ensure the same blood that was spilt on their side is also spilt on the other side.
Now, how do the police officers come in and what exactly should they do so that the blame is lifted off them?
It is practically impossible for the force to foster peace because attacks are being carried out continuously since revenge is seen as the solution by both communities involved.
The NCIC is also another commission set up to foster harmonic living among communities however it has been considered a toothless dog.
However hard it tries to stamp its authority, it has no heavy powers to handle the numerous hate speech remarks being made by senior government officials, politicians and ordinary citizens.
This has left the commission in a state of disarray since it cannot fully execute its mandate to meet the objectives laid down.
For attacks such as those in Tana to be carried out, there must be a person inciting another who is strategizing and those who are actually executing them.
All these are culprits of the same magnitude no matter their positions of authority, gender or age factors.
An amicable solution is desperately needed in the Tana region before we have the violence spill over to neighbouring areas and causing a disaster of epic proportions.
The police can be deployed there and keep vigil but that will not bring about sustainable peace and cohesion it will only halt the attacks for a few days, maybe months.
The president ordered officers to be deployed in the area some months ago; the violence stopped but now it’s back.
That is supposed to serve as a lesson that armed officers will not bring about peace; they can only maintain security for a specific period.
What is needed is sustainable peace and cohesion.
We need the communities living in harmony.
These can be achieved through reconciliation and forgiveness after culprits have been arrested, prosecuted and severely punished for the atrocities.
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