Bishop Daniel Qampicha from Marsabit Diocese used the Anglican Bishops and senior clergies Conference of April 19 this year to bring a spotlight to the ongoing conflict in Marsabit.
The soft-spoken shepherd presented Marsabit’s insecurity to the congregations, including Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr, Fred Matiangi, and the Inspector General of National Police Service Hilary Mutyambai.
The Bishop underscored the magnitudes of the insecurity and spelled out the government not to delay actions against those fanning the violence. Part of Bishop Qampicha speech reads,
In his response, CS Matiangi said the last time when the government wanted to act it was the local leaders and elders who requested for more time to broker truce.
Citing that the amnesty period had lapsed, the CS assured the Bishop that the government will soon roll out a special security operation to end the violence once it gets a nod from National Security Council.
The seemingly angry Dr Matiangi drew a parallel between the conflict in Marsabit, and the 1994 Rwanda Genocide and further reiterated that there is only one option left for the issues of Marsabit and they are bound to take it and that no one should blame the government’s bid to secure that place.
Just a week later, Marsabit again witnessed another ugly attack in which unknown number of cattle were driven away and 5 people killed including Loglogo senior chief and his assistant chief around a place called Awaye, Shurr in Marsabit county and 4 others seriously injured while on pursuit of the stolen cattle and their two vehicles torched.
True to his word, from May 2, Marsabit has witnessed contingencies of Special Forces and multi-agencies team ready to undertake security operation alongside dawn to dusk curfew imposed.
Personally, I applaud the efforts and action taken by this multi –agency team in restoring sanity among Marsabit Residents.
In fact, as a matter of record, now for a period of two weeks, the gun has gone silent and the past desolated town is fast awakening with businesses picking up gradually.
However, for an effective and objective operation, the following are important.
This security operation should be accompanied by both local and national media for the purpose of preventing human rights abuse usually associated with such exercise.
The heart and intent of this security operation should be tied to the need to stop this hostility and promotion of sustainable peace but not to inflict more pain and sorrows to Victims and Survivors of this conflict which are many.
The complexity and dynamics of these conflicts shouldn’t be overlooked, for instance, even though Saku Constituency had been an epicenter of this conflict and at the same time mostly affected in terms of loss of lives, properties and displacement, many are the times when the armed militias were reported to have come from far and wide outside Marsabit central to cause havoc and retreat back to their safer haven.
Therefore, the Special Forces should widen its nest in order to flush out these armed marauding militias from across the length and breadth of Marsabit County instead of too much concentration at Saku Constituency alone.
The government should employ targeted intelligence led operations unlike the old approach of blanket scorched earth approach that may inflict more pain and suffering to innocents people who had suffered already due to these conflicts.
In the event of disarmament, sufficient Kenya Police Reservists should be deployed immediately for protection of the residents from possible external aggressors which use to attack, raid and retreat back to their wild hideout.
To the residents of Marsabit, let’s elect servant and transformative leaderships across the spectrum of the elective seats since we deserve better leadership who will invest in peace and tranquility needed for sustainable growth which are beneficial to all.
Again the onus is on each one of us to support government especially on information networks of the sponsors, masterminds and the actual bandits causing havoc to us.
Time is ripe for political leaders to swallow their pride and to start engaging each other for the sake of the innocent residents whose lives had been disillusioned and hope shattered.
Thank you Rev Bishop Daniel Qampicha for speaking to the heart of the problem, it takes a bold and brave leader to do what you did which had now attracted the attention of security agencies at the national level since national government is duty bound to bring sanity among volatiles regions.
DIBA KOSI BILINGA
Bilinga Is Information Scientist and Security Studies Scholar from the Northern Part of Kenya
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