Nakuru Human Rights Defenders Network has faulted the government over the escalating insecurity and the resultant humanitarian crisis in Ol-moran, Laikipia West in Laikipia County. The Network noted that it was disturbing that the violent attacks by alleged bandits have so far claimed the lives of 8 innocent citizens including those of three police officers who were on duty besides paralyzing normalcy in the area.
The defenders faulted the government following the revelation by Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya that the skirmishes are part of a political scheme to occasion mass transfer ahead of 2022 general elections and that the police are ill-equipped to decisively quell the attacks.
Led by Masese Kemunche from the Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG), the defenders noted that the country’s ‘distinct history’ of politically instigated tribal clashes and expressed worry that the current situation may as well as be a precursor to violence ahead of 2022 polls. They once again put the government to task over what they termed as failure to provide long-lasting solutions instead adopted a reactionary approach resulting in human rights violation.
That the government has failed to provide long-lasting solutions but has often adopted a reactionary approach which has resulted in human rights violations informing loss of lives, community balkanization, blanket condemnation, arrest and brutalization of innocent civiliansMasese Kemunche, CEDGG
In a strongly-worded statement, the Nakuru Human Rights Defenders now want President Uhuru Kenyatta to pronounce himself on the violence and the position of the government as regards the political linkage to the violence and tone down his political rhetoric and involvement in succession politics which they noted is escalating tension in the country.
Addressing media in Nakuru on Friday, they urged the government to immediately deploy adequate, well-equipped and facilitated security teams to the hotspots to quell the violence.
Ms. Triza Ombewa from Midrift Human Rights Network called on the security agencies to act speedily and decisively to arrest all those behind the skirmishes adding that the arrest of the two politicians in connection to the same is a step in the right direction. She also called for in-depth investigations into the sources of the sophisticated weapons being used by the attackers in Ol-Moran and to take stern legal actions, but refrain from brutalizing innocent Kenyans.
“Nobody should be spared until normalcy is restored in Laikipia and any other part of the country that may be experiencing tension and skirmishes,” said Ombewa.
Sentiments echoed by David Kuria, convener Nakuru Human Rights Defenders Network who wondered why the government was unable to trace how the sophisticated weapons were entering into the country. Kuria put the government to task noting that it has taken long for the issue of banditry attacks, killings to be addressed.
“The government should up their game and investigate how sophisticated weapons are making their way into the country,” he said.
On his part, Midrift Human Rights Network CEO Joseph Omondi called on the government to play its mandate of ensuring security for all Kenyans by addressing the issue of bandits, militia groups that are terrorizing innocent citizens.
He noted the essence of police reforms was to ensure a police service that is well equipped in the country. According to Omondi, there is a need for mapping the country so that special zones that have perennial insecurity issues should be policed differently. Omondi also challenged the National Security Intelligence Service to up their role in helping detect and avert incidents of insecurity.
“We need to start mapping this country so that some areas that have insecurity issues can now be policed differently. We are also saying let the intelligence service up their way of doing things” said Omondi.
Sentiments echoed by Mwangi Muraya from CEDGG who called on Kenyans not to give up in demanding for their rights among them security from the government.
He added, “government must lead from the front in addressing the root cause of the vicious circle of violence in the larger Rift Valley Region and investigations carried out on individuals funding the banditry activities and action taken in accordance with the law” said Muraya.