Keep off Baringo operation, politicians told

The government has warned politicians and civil society groups to desist from making utterances that could jeopardise the ongoing security operations in Baringo County.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday in Nairobi, government spokesperson Eric Kiraithe said that the utterances that some communities were free to pursue their own needs with total disregard to the rights of others were promoting impunity and would only derail efforts by the government to restore normalcy in the affected region.

“The government will continue to vigorously ensure that every citizen including those who are legally residents in Kenya enjoys full protection under the law from crime, fear or intimidation of whatever nature,” said Kiraithe.

“Our Constitution borrowed verbatim from the United Nations Universal declaration of Human Rights,” said the spokesperson.

The move by the government to deploy security in Baringo County and Kerio Valley elicited mixed reactions from political leaders in the affected regions with a section supporting the move while the other opposed to the operation.

Earlier this month, Pokot leaders, among them Sigor MP Philip Rotino and his Kapenguria counterpart Samuel Moroto, poked holes into the operation saying that members of the Pokot community would be disadvantaged as their neighbours, the Tugen, were in possession of illegal firearms calling for disarmament to be carried across the board.

The banditry attacks have since claimed at least 25 people in Baringo North and Baringo South sub-counties in the past three weeks.

On Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers be deployed in the troubled region after seven women and four children were killed the previous day.

The deployment came after some 151 police reservists and 230 police officers who were deployed in the area to flush out the bandits failed to stem the attacks.

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