Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Role of Social Media in the Turkana-Pokot Conflict

The conflict between the Turkana and the Pokot which traditionally was based on cattle rustling has graduated into a senseless hunt for the lives of young innocent children and women. Recent headlines have been dominated by horrendous stories of a people being held hostage by armed militiamen from a neighbouring county. Kenya has once again revisited the dark ages of 2007/2008 characterized by inhuman torture and persecution of fellow citizens by those who occupy habitats barely a stone throw away from theirs. It is a crying shame that fifty years after Kenya got self-rule, mad men can decide to heavily arm themselves with sophisticated weapons; some of which are never seen with our security forces, match from their county in the cover of darkness and the blue sky and commit unforgivable atrocities of such a magnitude as Lorogon’s without an iota of detection by the intelligence and the security alike.  It is also shocking to listen to a senior politician and a goon’s captain masquerading as a professor coming out strongly to support the attacks against neighbours. The national government should probe Prof Lonyangapuo for his alleged role in the ongoing clashes between the two communities inhabiting Turkana and Pokot Counties.  I wish to highlight the role played by social media in escalating the tensions through the use of these social sites to organize attacks and plan meetings in which anti-cohesion messages are spread.
The following are some of the recent posts as indicated in a page titled “Pokots Countrywide”:
Tension remains high as kitale - lodwar road is blocked and Dayah express stonned by angry pokots who want the suspected Turkanas who killed an innocent pokot bodaboda man a fortnight ago arrested!
All vehicless heading to lodwar are at marich police station.
Body of the deceased was eaten by wild animals since monday and has been taken to kapenguria mortuary.
1. MARICH PASS BRIDGE BLOCKED!!! [inaitwa travelling rationing]
2. DAYAH BUS ATTACKED [available means now is].
Pikächö agh müüt paät.

When i update a status concerning the the way pokot people are being killed by Turkanas, some people are fast in
1. calling admin as an inciter.
2. insulting pokots using all sorts of abusive language.
3. calling pokot leaders all sorts of names
4. peddling lies to media claiming pokot as people responsible for all attacks.
etc etc etc
i knw Turkana are the one responsible for the above sentiments.
remember what happened recently in Maralal, samburus cleared all Turkanas in their county ,and immediately peace was restored in that county.
— in Kapenguria.

#PokotOne updates.
Sad incase you missed.
Yesterday at lokitonyala, Alale ward, Turkana cut a breast of a pokot woman.
Also a nominated mca female from our county was gang raped after she was given sleepy drugs.
This is inhuman and heartless. May those who did that act R.i.p.
Culprits should be brought to book!!!
The police should thoroughly investigate all those behind this hate speech and brought them to book. The lives of poor citizens of these great are under threat and the ongoing must come to an end.

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