Kenya: Inside the Suguta Valley of Death

Sun, 2012-11-18 13:53 by admin

By Kurgat Marindany, 17 November 2012

OPINION

Read the complete story at The Star

The year is 1995. As an investigative journalist, while I was working for a local daily in Nairobi, I traversed the North Eastern province and the hardship areas of Moyale, Baragoi and even into the dreaded Suguta Marmar valley known for its fiercest bandits.

My main objective was to understand the terrain in those areas after coming under government criticism that I was not reporting correctly on matters of banditry in northern and north eastern Kenya.

It was during that period that bandits in the two regions had heightened their attacks on villagers and security personnel posted there. I had been warned by State House against reporting negatively about the security system in Kenya and President Daniel arap Moi through the then North Eastern PC had warned me of dire consequences.

Just a day, after receiving a State House warning, a military base commandant at the Garissa Military Camp invited me for a familiarisation trip in their chopper locally called *Waiwai.*

Our trip in a gunner chopper began in Garissa where we flew to Wamba on the border between Garissa South and Coast province. We then flew to Liboi, Wajir and Mandera.

On the trip, the army CO showed me how expansive the borderline between Kenya and Somalia is. He indicated that the borderline is so porous that illegal guns could come into the country unrecognised by our security personnel.

At the end of the trip, that I had reluctantly accepted, I realised that many arms could come into Kenya through many fronts and especially Somalia that had warlords who were fighting over resources and towns after the fall of former President Siad Barre. …

Read the complete story at The Star