15 September 2012

Kenya: State Inaction to Blame for Tana Chaos - Cleric

Photo: Capital FM
Security forces on patrol: The bodies of two children, aged 15 and 10, were retrieved from a river after they drowned while fleeing security forces (file photo).

Nairobi — A cleric from coast province now says that the government is to blame for failing to act in time to avert the Tana River killings.

Reverend Stephen Anyienda of the Coast Inter Faith Council of Clerics says that information about impending attacks was given to the local administration and it was up to them to act.

He further told Capital FM News that the conflicts over resources in the Tana delta were not new and that government agencies including the National Intelligence Service would also have been easy to pick it up.

"This is not information that caught people by surprise; government apparatus knew that this was going to happen. Even in the firing of chiefs you realise that the government is in possession of information," he said.

"We are disappointed in the gap that exists between when information is received and when action is taken. Government does not have to wait until people are killed or until a village is burnt to act," he added emphatically.

He says that the disarmament that is currently on going in the area has to be done together with assurances of security and from the rival Pokomo and Orma communities.

Anyienda said that police must further be well equipped to handle any cases of flare ups that might arise.

Anyienda said: "We need to have guns and other small arms out of civilians because people will turn to them when they feel provoked. The government must provide enough security to the people of this county so that they do not have to make themselves policemen."

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