The degenerating levels of insecurity in Northern Kenya and North Rift Valley region specifically between the Turkana and West Pokot border is spiraling out of control.
The situation has mutated into an incessant wave of attacks that go unabated depicting the highest level of volatility and anarchy.
Sadly, lives of at least ten people, four among them law enforcers and six civilians has been sniffed out in a gangland style by the bullets of bandits running the show in Kapedo.
Delayed or inadequate police response in the area has always been blamed to bad terrain and sophisticated weapons possessed by the raiders.
Apparently, successive disarmament exercise by the government have not yielded much results.
Similarly, the deep rooted culture of high bride price has more often been cited as a negative multiplier for the never-ending violent raids.
Needless to say, the availability of heavy weaponry, its source and those who bankroll the purchase could point to a possible veiled but deeply entrenched war economy to sustain the illicit criminal enterprise.
The viciousness, pattern and frequency of the raids outweighs cultural motivation as the primary contributing factor.
In 2012, over 46 Kenya police officers and Kenya Police reservists were massacred by Turkana raiders during a botched operation to recover stolen cattle over what was blamed on poor police command, leaked intelligence of pending police operation and police leadership failure of the National Police Service headed by Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo.
In a similar ambush attack by bandits, 21 officers were slaughtered and their vehicle burnt down in Kapedo where Kenya Defence Forces are currently undertaking mop up exercise of illicit weapons in civilians’ hands.
At least 19 Administration Police officers and three civilians were killed at Suguta Valley by bandits who made away with more than 2,000 bullets, resulting in a joint operation by the military and the police in the area.
In 2015, a government delegation led by former Deputy Inspector General, Kenya Police Service Grace Kaindi escaped death narrowly after their helicopter came under intense firepower from the raiders in Kalpat area in Nadome while disembarking from a police helicopter.
The raiders literally held the officers and Nakwamuro village hostage before they withdrew and made away with 352 goats and sheep.
A herdsman identified as Dominic Ekai aged 25 years was shot and injured and juvenile girl was shot on her right thigh.
The above brief sneak peek of past chronology of events illustrates perpetual anarchy and disorder.
To effectively deal with this problem, a multi-pronged approach of disarmament, cultivating progressive culture change and economic empowerment cannot be over emphasised.
Disarmament alone cannot be a solution.
Instead, community leaders, elders, political and religious leaders should be engaged through seamless cooperation between National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) and police to eradicate banditry.
NGAOs among them County Commissioners, Deputy County Commissioners, Sub County Commissioners and Chiefs are always actively engaged with the community at every level.
Therefore, they best placed to be the all-important interface to end the menace jointly with other security sector players.
It is through the National Government Administrative Officers that a platform of engagement with other stakeholders can be set up and leverage on cooperation and information-sharing with civilians to effectively to effectively deal with the banditry menace.
The author is a Diplomacy and Communication Consultant