Locals hide in dark caves as tension run high in Kerio Valley.
Night in the cold
Eerie, the silence of the clouds has spread in the area as six prepare for a night in the cold, mixed with the fear of being bitten by a snake or buried by falling rocks.
The damp and unsanitary cave symbolizes the lives of the residents of this region where economic activity has stalled, the school grounds have been turned into pastures and the sights of happy children playing happily have provided an opportunity for a terrific festival of dark people. the men clung to the poison bows and arrows striking the sky from their battered rivers.
These young people leave nothing to chance in their mission to protect the community after the deaths of seven people and their 200 homes.
Mr Geoffrey Kisuri, who moved his family of seven to Chesta, said he was struggling to get basic necessities like their food. It is, however, a fear of another attack that he believes should be addressed urgently. He asked the government to remove them from here.
Names of bandits
Mr Wilson Kiptoo of Marakwet linked the dispute to the border area and the disclosure of the names of the robbers from the two communities during a meeting held last month.
“The robbers on both sides are destroying themselves in battle after their names were revealed,” he said.
Mr Oscar Khaemba, a teacher at Cheptulel Primary School, says further fighting has crippled learning and business activities in the region.
“Many children have dropped out of school after their parents ran away. We were promised that our schools would be protected but this did not happen, ”said Khaemba.
Ms Linah Kiptum, a resident, accused the government of ignoring them.
“The government is reluctant to disarm the Pokot people in Tiaty, who are carrying out the attacks. How long will our neighbors kill our people? Who will take care of the families left behind? The government should save us, ”he said.
An instant national survey revealed ghost villages after residents moved to Lomut and Chesta, more than 20 kilometers away, where they now face starvation.
Locals point to insecurity in the competitive and wealthy agricultural areas of Sowero and Kamro for political incitement as a region of resource-intensive elites.
Development projects have stalled due to insecurity, which has also affected the mango trade, the key to the region’s economy.
Since 2016, more than 80 people have been killed and homes burned or destroyed.
In one of the most recent incidents, the Crusaders were killed in Cheptulel.
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo, local lawmakers and other leaders on Saturday succeeded in easing tensions after tasking the elders to form a bilateral peace committee and hold a lapai, a traditional Pokot ritual, to punish the killers.
During the meeting, Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong asked why West Pokot bandits Elgeyo-Marakwet and Tiaty were not arrested even after locals questioned them.
“The government has no intention of ending the problem. If the Ministry of Security cannot take action, let us know so that we can prepare to defend ourselves. The locals have named the characters, but why don’t you arrest them? He asked.
There is no general judgment
Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen said it should not be blamed for the blanket.
“Bandits should be called by their names. We searched for Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’i, but he was not found. He sent several guards after one person disagreed with the leader in Kuresoi, but no one was brought here, ”Bowen said.
He urged Tiaty MP Kasait Kamket to use the State Development Fund to set up police stations and build roads to facilitate the implementation of peace and stability in the region.
Kacheliba MP Mark Lomunokol thanked residents for embracing peace and for not conveying their anger for easy goals.
“Let us continue with our normal activities. The thieves of Kemsa and Eurobond escaped with wealth but we are losing our lives by stealing cattle. We accept peace. Nobody cares about us. I am a changed hero but I went to school. I lost four of my brothers to robbery and cattle rustling, but in Kacheliba we embraced peace. Let’s not go back to the practice of repatriation “,Mr. Lumunokol.
Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto said they needed meetings to discuss development, not security.
“Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai is asleep at work. Former IG Joseph Boinett has done a lot. Let them dismiss the Kenyan reserve police if they fail, ”Moroto said.
Elgeyo-Marakwet women’s representative Jane Chebaibai accused the government of taking too long to respond to the attacks.