Understanding factors fueling the Laikipia insecurity crisis

A security officer patrols part of volatile Laikipia county: PHOTO/Courtesy

By Kipngeno Benard

For years Laikipia county has been embroiled in conflict caused by clashes between farmers and the various pastoralist groups.

In the past few days, houses have been torched and lives lost in the Ol Moran region of Laikipia when bandits attacked the residents.

They put on display their defiance to authority by staging day time attacks in the volatile area when the Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya was assessing the damage caused by the attack.

It is suspected that the attackers are from Samburu community and are using M16 rifles.

The attack have forced over 150 families to flee their homes fearing for their lives after 40 houses were torched by arsonists.

These daring bandits also burned down a school that was just 2 kilometers from where Rift Valley regional commissioner was holding a security meeting.

Tribalism, lack of pasture and livestock theft are some of the possible factors that let to this attack.

The government had to initiate a dusk to dawn curfew to facilitate an operation to flush out the bandits who are believed to be hiding in Laikipia nature conservancy.

To curb the rampant insecurity in the region, the government should dig deeper to understand to root cause of the conflict and find a long lasting solution to it by disarming the attackers, providing them with resources and opportunities they need.

Also to be included is a detailed plan on compensating those affected by the conflict, encouraging the residents to embrace peace in the region and improving the security for children in order for them to go back to school.

(The writer is a a student at Rongo University)