West Pokot: Two Schools Closed over Fear of Retaliatory Attacks

Katikomor and Lomolng’iro Primary Schools in the West Pokot County on Monday remained a deserted place.

This is after over 600 learners in the two schools domiciled at the border of Kenya and Uganda, failed to attend classes due to the fear of attacks following a recent livestock theft.

Area residents led by Losukomol Musa said gunshots were heard in Pirirwok village of Bukwo district in Uganda raising tension and worries of possible attacks.

Losukomol admitted that raiders from the Kenyan side entered the Ugandan village and made away with five cows and a donkey. In the raid, a Ugandan chief was reportedly killed.

A deserted classroom in one of the schools that remained closed on Monday. Photo/Kipkorir Tarus.
A deserted classroom in one of the schools that remained closed on Monday. Photo/Kipkorir Tarus.

But when the raiders arrived in Kenya with the livestock, locals collaborated with security agencies and successfully returned the stolen cattle to Uganda to maintain peace that has lasted for two decades.

We are peace loving citizens and we know the culprits who have caused this unnecessary tension and we are ready to volunteer information to security agencies.We appeal that security agencies act on such information so that the two countries maintain their cordial relationship,” Losukomol told journalists.

Performance in national examinations

Philip Komole, also a local in the area said continued disruption of learning is likely to affect performance of their candidates in the national exams and called on Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to intervene.

Philip Komole, a resident of Katikomor area addressing the media.  Photo/Kipkorir Tarus.
Philip Komole, a resident of Katikomor area addressing the media. Photo/Kipkorir Tarus

We know KCPE is the same all-over the country and that KNEC will not know our pupils were disrupted. We are very worried of how they will perform,” Komole said.

Jacob Loshakununu, a business person further said the raid has greatly affected economic activities of the area where many businesses remain closed.

Lilly Ndiwa revealed that many mothers and their children have been forced to spend cold nights in the bushes.

As we are speaking, three mothers who recently gave birth and their babies are at risk of contracting illnesses caused by the extreme cold and malnutrition because we do not have food in our hideouts,” Ndiwa said.

Remain calm

On his part, West Pokot County Senator, Julius Murgor, urged the locals to be calm and go back to their homes and continue with their normal activities.

One of the schools that no student turned up for fear of retaliatory attacks from Uganda.
One of the schools that no student turned up for fear of retaliatory attacks from Uganda.

He also called on Apollo Okello, the County Commissioner to organize and hold peace meetings with his Ugandan counterpart to avert possible retaliation.

We ask the County Security team led by the County Commissioner to organise an urgent peace meeting between Kenyans and Ugandans so we restore the peace we have enjoyed for two decades,” Murgor appealed.

However, the West Pokot County Commissioner assured Katikomor residents that they will not be attacked.

Allow children back to school

Although I cannot confirm what is happening in Uganda where gunshots are heard, I assure our people that there will be no retaliation and they should not create unnecessary tension,” Okello said.

He asked parents to allow their children to go back to school to continue with learning.

Moreover, the County security boss urged traders to reopen their shops and other income generating activities to make a living and contribute to the economy of the nation.

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