Baringo feuds are beyond cattle rustling - Abbas Gullet
Red Cross suspended operations citing harassment and security. The humanitarian crisis is getting worse.
Speaking to a local news station, Abbas has hinted that the feuds in the area could be politically motivated, calling upon the warring parties to resolve their disputes and end the atrocities in the area.
He has ruled out the possibility of violence perpetuated by cattle rustling and instead said that the area could be facing inequality crisis in sharing resources, especially precedes from the geothermal power station in the area and charcoal burning business.
Abbas has expressed fears that the fact that the convoy transporting food to severely affected areas were attached and looted for misconceptions that the society was the height of impunity of the politically fueled rowdy youth in Baringo.
“We have been shocked. Even during the 2007/2008 post-election violence and the 2014 Kapedo attacks, it never got to that level. We are ready to get back to work even Monday, if the government can assure us that there is security,” Abbas said.
Abbas alleged that the armed youth in the area have been armed by powerful individuals from the political class, to deliberately disrupt the humanitarian assistance directed in the area.
Meanwhile the Catholic Church in Baringo has provided temporary accommodation for dozens of displaced families as the society jostles up for resuming the distribution of food and other humanitarian assistance in Baringo and Turkana Counties, calling for security details to accompany their staff. The security agencies have not yet responded to Abbas’ call.
Suspension of services
Last week, through a statement, the Kenya Red Cross Society suspended all operations in Baringo County and withdrew all its staff and volunteers after residents allegedly harassed its staff, volunteers and looted relief food.
A statement from the humanitarian agency said that the Friday incidence at Kambi Samaki area, where a convoy of seven KRCS vehicles carrying 96.8 metric tonnes of relief food comprising of maize flour, pulses, cooking oil and salt meant for Kapedo and Lomelo areas in Turkana county, was blocked by the residents and forced to turn back to Marigat.
Abbas earlier said that the confrontation ensued at a road block erected by youths who accused his staff of giving food support to neighbouring community despite presenting a waybill that clearly indicated the food was destined for Turkana County.
“It is with a heavy heart that the Kenya Red Cross Society announces the suspension of our activities in Baringo County, as we can no longer guarantee the safety of our staff, volunteers and resources. Our staff and volunteers were threatened by residents despite our assurance that the consignment was headed to Turkana County, and had nothing to do with the current inter-clan conflict in Baringo County,” read the statement seen by P Live Kenya..
Abbas has insisted that the Kenya Red Cross Society “may only resume operations when the both the National government and the Baringo County government guarantees the safety of its staff, volunteers and resources.”
Baringo County is currently affected by both drought and conflict. The Society has been supporting residents with monthly cash transfers, non-food items, rehabilitation of waters sources and medical outreaches in Baringo North, Baringo South and Tiaty sub counties.
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