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Kenya: Insecurity in Turkana County Linked to Frequent Clashes With South Sudan’s Toposa Community

Nairobi — Turkana County has been grappling with persistent insecurity, largely attributed to frequent conflicts between the Toposa community from South Sudan and the Turkana community in Kenya.

A fact-finding mission led by the House Administration and Internal Security Committee, headed by Ali Rasso (Saku), conducted visits to various hotspots in Turkana East and Turkana West to investigate the ongoing tensions.

During these visits, the committee members, including Protus Akuja (Loima), Mburu Kahangara (Lari), and Caroline Ngelechei, discovered that the Turkana people have raised concerns about encroachments by Toposa pastoralists into their territory. This encroachment is believed to have occurred after the Republic of South Sudan extended its border approximately 10 kilometers into Kenyan territory, specifically in the Nadapal region.

Committee members expressed their unease regarding the absence of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) personnel at all entry points along the border, especially when compared to Sudan’s deployment on their side of the border. They conveyed their intention to advocate for the deployment of officers at all border points to enhance security.

The committee stressed the importance of reviewing the security setup along the borders, emphasizing the need for a collaborative and multi-agency approach to border management to foster cohesion and enhance security.

Ali Rasso, the committee leader, stated, “We want all the agencies deployed to this border county to develop synergies and work together. This is the only way we shall achieve peace and security in this county.”

The delegation recognized that longstanding border disputes involving Turkana County, Baringo County, West Pokot County, South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya have contributed to the insecurity in these regions.

Ali Rasso affirmed the committee’s commitment to addressing boundary disputes in Turkana County and advocated for the deployment of police reservists to complement the efforts of the National Police Service. He highlighted the unique security challenges facing Turkana and the vastness of the area, emphasizing the need for additional police reservists.

Rasso conveyed these intentions during a public baraza held in Lokichogio.

Earlier in the day, the committee visited Kakuma Police Station, where they engaged with the Area Officer Commanding the Station. Additionally, they interacted with newly recruited police reservists undergoing training and visited Lokichogio International Airport, which had experienced scaled-down operations due to ongoing renovations.

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