Top Stories / National
Friday, 24 Feb 2017 13:44 EATjmwangangi@kenyafreepress.com
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery is touring Kitui County today following repeated attacks by Somali bandits on local Kamba farmers as the prevailing drought in northern Kenya spawns more conflict between pastoralist and settled communities. The death toll from the bandit attacks has reached 28, counting from the onset of the drought in 2016.
Mr Nkaissery’s visit has raised hopes that security forces will be deployed in the region, with Kitui Senator David Musila and other local leaders hosting the CS at Ukasi. The CS is expected to announce a recruitment of Kenya Police Reserve services. According to sources from the volatile area, well-vetted locals with shooting skills will be trained and provided with guns and other arms to protect themselves and their neighbours from the marauding bandits.
The visit follows the killing of two people by bandits two days ago in the area which has become prone to attacks by pastoralists. The region has grazing contracts signed between the Kamba people, Oromo and Somali herders along the border of Kitui, Tana River and Garissa Counties.
The latest bandits attack also saw houses burnt after killing the two. This comes only few days after a 75-year-old man was killed on Monday as he could not flee away from the attack due to his old age. Another woman was kidnapped but she survived after she was brutalized by the attackers. She was admitted at Mwingi Level Four Hospital. During this attack another elderly man was killed on the Mwingi Garissa highway as he was escaping the daylight attack.
Another herdsman was attacked and killed while grazing his cattle at Kasiluni village. According to area chief Benjamin Mui, 28 people have lost their lives since 2016. “Since 2016, we’ve lost 28 people in such banditry attacks, eight of them killed in the last two months alone,” said Chief Mui. Some schools have been closed since January due to the incessant attacks, among them Engamba, Kasiluni, Ngooni, Kathungu, Sosoma and Inyanzai primary schools.
Mwingi central MP Joel Mutambu visited the Ukasi area and condemned the government for not eradicating the banditry. "We will not sit and watch our people being butchered helplessly, those responsible for security must stop these attacks or else we devise our way of protecting ourselves’
Mr Musila also visited Ukasi on February 3 after other attacks which took three lives on New Year's eve in Kyuso North. He spoke bitterly condemning the attacks and requested the government to deploy more police to protect residents.