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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Turkana residents say state siding with Pokots

The longstanding border row and inter community conflicts between Pokot and their neighbours of Baringo and Pokots has taken a new dimension with Pokots county residents claiming that the government assists their Baringo and West Pokot counterparts to stage hostilities.
Turkana residents last week lodged an urgent case in a Nairobi court, Attorney General Githu Muigai and Interior cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaissery are accused of failing to stop frequent raids on the people of Turkana which allegedly claims 50 lives daily.
According to the petition, owing to the illegal activities of Pokot raiders, thousands of animals are stolen and property destroyed daily and the worry is that both the Central government and the national security council treat the raids as normal.
Turkana county leaders have criticised the pace at which the government deals with banditry by Pokot raiders. According to Turkana elders, the raiders are from the neighbouring Baringo and West Pokot counties whom they had evicted from their lands in Kapedo, Turkwel, Lomelo, Koikalale, Kogito and River Turkwel.
Through lawyer Jotham Arwa, they want the court to issue an order requiring Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery to end the raids. “On average, 50 innocent lives are lost daily in Turkana county, owing to the activities of the Pokot traders and thousands of animal are stolen daily,” they claim.
It is alleged that the residents of Baringo assisted by the government have illegally and unconstitutionally invaded by conducting regular raids in eight areas within Turkana county. They also claim that the central government has continued to encourage and deliberately created conditions which have led to illegal exploitation of resources of Turkana by the neighbouring counties and their residents.
The petitioners further allege that the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission has created electoral units within Turkana which have been transferred to the neighbouring Baringo and West Pokot counties. This, the petitioners say, not only violates the territorial integrity of Turkana county, but also the rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Turkana and the county government.
The petitioners are seeking an order compelling Nkaisserry to immediately deploy police, National Intelligence Service and the Kenya Defence Forces officers to protect the border between Turkana, Baringo and West Pokot counties.
The petitioners also want the High Court to compel the AG to compensate them for the various violations of their fundamental rights and freedoms. They now want the court to declare that the government is obligated to provide security to the people of Turkana, protect their territorial integrity, sovereignty, lives, rights, freedoms, prosperity and stability.