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Pokot, Baringo leaders want President Uhuru Kenyatta to reverse DP Ruto’s shoot-to-kill orders

Deputy President William Ruto speaking to some of the police reservists recruited to enhance security in Arabal area Baringo County

A section of leaders from Pokot and Baringo have protested against the shoot-to-kill orders issued to security personnel pursuing bandits the clashes-torn region.

They at the same time expressed concern over the recruitment of more than 500 National Police Reservists, saying the move would escalate the wave of killings in the region.

The leaders have also accused Deputy President William Ruto of taking sides in the conflict, and asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to take charge of the situation.

Senator John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot), MP Samuel Moroto (Kapenguria), Baringo County Speaker William Kamket and a host of MCAs also demanded that Uhuru suspend the security operation declared by Ruto on Monday.

They claimed the operation to flush out bandits was targeting one community and could trigger more violence if implemented.

They claimed only one community was being armed, leaving the others vulnerable to possible retaliatory attacks.

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DP Ruto on Monday, while visiting the volatile area for the second time, presided over the installation of 523 National Police Reservists.

The armed reservists have been tasked with flushing out cattle rustlers from Kerio Valley.

While rooting for joint peace forums involving all elected leaders in the region, a section of the leaders said the deployment was “the height of irresponsibility” by the Government.

“In the interest of peace in this particular region, we state that the impending security operation targeting only one community is in bad taste and should be suspended to give room for dialogue,” said Prof Lonyangapuo in a press briefing in Nairobi.

He described the shoot-to-kill order as part of a discriminatory move that would promote criminal activities in the already troubled region.

“We don’t believe that the IG (Joseph Boinnet) and DP (Ruto) are neutral in this matter and appeal to Uhuru to intervene,” he said.

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