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Raila Odinga opposes operation in banditry-prone areas

Opposition leader Raila Odinga

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has criticised the ongoing security operation in Laikipia and Baringo counties to wipe out illegal herders and bandits.

He claimed the security officials carrying out the operation were doing it in an inhumane way and wants it stopped.

Instead, the ODM leader called for ‘negotiated settlement’ among various State agencies, herders and private ranchers.

Speaking at Rumuruti township in Laikipia yesterday, Raila said it was a shame that the officers were killing livestock and people in the guise of conducting an operation.

“I have been on a tour of this region and it is a shame what I have seen. Livestock and human beings are being killed mercilessly by the bullet. They are using live bullets to kill the livestock,” he said.

Odinga said it was regrettable that thousands of livestock have been lost since the operation started a month ago.

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“We can solve this issue through talking to each other so that there can be a permanent solution to this problem. Killing the animals will not solve it,” he said.

He urged the Government to buy the livestock that is on the verge of starvation and feed it to the hungry.

“There was a programme we started when I was in the Government of buying this livestock and I wonder what happened to it. These animals should not be killed but should be fed to the hungry,” he said.

During his tour of the region in the company of Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel, he took issue with the Government for failing to consider marginalised communities in employment.

He said if NASA takes power after the August General Election, it would consider them in all available job opportunities.

“These people have been left out in employment opportunities. I can assure you that with the NASA government, this will be a thing of the past as the Government will be all-inclusive,” he said.

On the ongoing party nominations, Raila termed the controversies experienced in various counties as ‘teething problems’ that will be managed.

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“These are problems that we will solve as we have just began the nominations. We expect them to be over as we move on,” he said.

Elsewhere, leaders from Pokot have complained about what they claimed to be brutality in the ongoing security operation in Baringo County.

The leaders said security teams were using excessive force, subjecting the people to torture and violation of their rights.

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Led by West Pokot Senator John Lonyangapuo, the leaders want the Government to address the issue in a ‘sober manner’ before the General Election to allow residents to cast their votes.

Baringo Assembly Speaker William Kasait and Civil Aviation Board Chairman Samuel Poghisio called on human rights organisations and the Red Cross to intervene and help residents whom they said have been subjected to torture.

“Livestock has been killed and houses burnt by security forces. The Pokot depend on livestock.

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“The operation might not be a permanent solution and leaders from the region need to come together and find a solution,” said Poghisio.

Mr Poghisio said the operation was being executed in an inhumane way. “This is a strategy to scare away residents from voting in the August elections,” he said.

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