Gov’t to launch disarmament in Marsabit, neighboring counties over insecurity

Gov’t to launch disarmament in Marsabit, neighboring counties over insecurity

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i now says the government is set to launch an immediate disarmament exercise in Marsabit and all its neighboring counties as part of a long-term vision for peace following protracted incidences of violence for the region.

CS Matiang’i, in a statement to newsrooms on Wednesday, said the fragility of the situation has been aggravated by toxic battles for supremacy by scheming politicians.

The CS spoke in the National Assembly where appeared before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security where he noted that possession of illegal firearms among the communities has been a major contributory factor to the frequent inter-communal conflicts in the area.

He further stated that police are hot on the heels of the perpetrators and some leaders who have been arming them.

“During the last voluntary disarmament exercise, 342 firearms were surrendered. However, many more weapons still remain in the hands of the locals,” he said.

CS Matiang’i also took issue with the partisan approach to the conflict by leaders who take sides in favour of their communities, adding that competition over the control of power and county resources has also been intensifying since 2013 when implementation of devolution began.

He described the conflict as “a costly affair” that has led to avoidable loss of lives, displacement of local populations, malicious destruction of property, and disruption of economic activities in the county.

“Plans are underway to operationalize the recommended police stations and posts in the vast county. The officers will also be provided with adequate modern equipment, including armoured vehicles, dog units, and even drones,” he said.

The committee, through its Chairperson, Paul Koinange (MP, Kiambaa), prescribed the stepping up of the convention of security and community peace meetings to complement police crackdown on perpetrators and sponsors of the clashes.

“On the issue of some parts of this country experiencing banditry and tribal animosities as is currently happening in areas such as Kapedo and Marsabit, we’re giving the leadership of Marsabit County 30 days to stop the tribal wars which we have credible information that they’re fueling in their region, failure to which we shall have no choice but to commence proceedings in Parliament and the judicial system to have those elected removed from office for shedding innocent blood of Kenyans,” said the MP during a press address.