Leaders drawn from Baringo and West Pokot counties have called for the enforcement of compulsory education as a means to end perennial insecurity in the North Rift.
Speaking at a consultative peace meeting at Lake Bogoria Spa Resort the political, religious and professionals from the two counties unanimously called the government to enforce the policy saying it will end cattle rustling.
Led by the senate majority leader and West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio the leaders said education will deter the young boys from venturing into banditry and eventually end the vice.
“We have a duty to help people of Tiaty to realize their dreams, we have left them behind, their children need to run to school every morning like those of other Kenyans,” said Poghisio.
He added that the communities engaging in conflict do view each other as a devil and an angel yet in reality they are same.
“We don’t have even churches in Tiaty, we normally say if you can’t find a catholic church that place has been left to the dogs,” added Poghisio.
He reiterated the support of the leaders and the crucial role they play in leading their constituencies to peaceful coexistence
His sentiments were echoed by Baringo County Women Representative Gladwel Cheruiyot who said given 10 years of forceful education the vice will be eradicated.
“It’s time to go to the ground and work towards achieving peace, even if we meet in these boardrooms for 100 times we may achieve nothing, we have to go to the grassroots and ensure the children are taken to school,” said Cheruiyot.
She also called for creating a buffer zone in the Kapedo area which has been marred by conflict over boundary and make it a military training ground.
On his part Baringo Senator Gideon Moi also called for compulsory schooling for young boys in Tiaty saying it would divert their energies and time from the outdated practices of cattle rustling.
He said Tiaty sub-county has a potential that can only be exploited if there is peace as it is the richest in the county.
The leaders requested for a ceasefire to the ongoing operations and give them one month to aid in mopping up illegal firearms.
On their part, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission promised to help the leaders in the pursuit for peace until they achieve it.
The commission was represented by Dr Danvas Makori and Abdulaziz Ali Farah who convened the consultative meeting.
The Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya granted the leaders’ plea to a 30-day ceasefire