By Derrick Kiplagat
Leaders from areas affected by cattle rustling and banditry in the Northern part of Rift Valley are now calling on the government to form a substantive ministry that will exclusively address issues affecting that region. Leaders from Baringo and Turkana counties convened a meeting yesterday in a peace-crisis meeting in Eldoret to discuss the disquiet in the region and find solutions.
The leaders claimed that previous conventions on curbing insecurity both regionally and nationally have not borne any fruits. The meeting comes in the wake of attacks in Lomelo, the border between the two counties that left 54 dead. They also called for cattle rustling to be declared a national disaster and be granted the seriousness it deserves.
“We leaders of Baringo and Turkana counties call upon President Uhuru Kenyatta to establish the Ministry of North Rift Pastoralists Affairs in order to address the challenges affecting the region,” said Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi.
The governor said that the ministry’s mandate will be to address the issues relating to the pastoral communities in the country especially cattle rustling and banditry. He went on to note that previous disarmament exercises have proved futile and lives have been lost in the process. “We have seen such initiatives work in Uganda where the government established a ministry to deal with insecurity issues brought about by cattle rustling in Karamoja state. We believe that if such ideas are replicated, then our issues will be solved.” Cheboi added.
Also in attendance was Turkana Senator John Munyes, MPs Asman Kamama (Tiaty), Chris Nakulei (Turkana North), Nicholas Ngikor (Turkana East), James Lomenen (Turkana South) and several Members of County Assembly.
The leaders also called on the President to organize a meeting soon that would bring together all leaders from pastoral communities in the northern region to help address this situation.