Fred Matiangi: State will crush agents of Marsabit violence
By virtue of his position as Anglican Church of Kenya CK Marsabit Diocese, Bishop Daniel Qampicha receives daily calls to inform him of the ongoing inter-ethnic clashes in Marsabit County.
The calls are to inform him of someone who has been shot dead by either of the two warring communities.
He now says he cannot take it anymore, his attempts to have the government intervene are yet to yield fruits and now, he too, despite being apolitical, feels quite in danger.
While attending the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Bishops conference in Nairobi on Tuesday, he asked Interior CS Fred Matiang’i if the government had failed to deal with the persons fanning the violence.
“I refuse to believe that the Kenyan government lacks power to end insecurity in Marsabit. If you guys delay, you will come and bury us.
“People are dying on a daily basis; we have cried to the highest office, I am a bishop who is non-partisan but I do not feel safe in Marsabit,” the bishop told CS Matiang’i.
In response, CS Matiang’i said the government may soon launch a special security operation in the county to end the ongoing inter-ethnic violence between the Gabra and Borana communities.
The CS said the violence was being fuelled by reckless politicians who had refused to engage in peace talks to end the violence.
“The things I have heard and collected from people in that county (Marsabit) are not spoken anywhere else in this country. There is no part of Kenya where one group of people speaks about their neighbours the way they do in Marsabit, it actually reminds you of the situation in Rwanda,” said Dr Matiang’i.
The two communities have been encouraging armed militia to attack each other and kill.
The CS revealed that in the last attempt by the government to broker truce between the two groups, the elders requested the government to give them 30 days to conduct peace talks.
That time has now elapsed and the situation is yet to change. The National Police Service is likely to begin a major operation to end the violence as soon as it gets a nod from the National Security Council (NSC).
“There is only one option left to the issue of Marsabit and we will take it. Those who sit in the National Security Council know what this option is. No one should blame the government when this action is taken to secure that place,” said the CS.
The conflict in Marsabit has in the past cost the country lives of prominent people including veteran politician Bonaya Godana who died in a military Y-12 aircraft crash alongside 13 others including MPs and local leaders.
In areas of Baringo and Pokot where cattle rustling is claiming lives, Dr Matiang’i said the development of the areas will provide a permanent solution to the issue as young men engaging in the vice will be involved in other forms of economic engagements.
“It is a challenge that is historical in nature but if you look at West Pokot, for example, the numbers are going down. I thank the county government of Pokot where grassroots leadership is working with community leaders and locals and there’s a reduction of conflict,” said the CS.