July 25th 2017

Top Stories / National

Promising security in North Rift amid bandit killings, Uhuru's tour beset by skepticism

The bandits raided Chesetan and Lukuget, despite the warning to politicians by Inspector general of police Joseph Boinnet against fanning banditry attacks in the volatile region. According to the residents, armed raiders ambushed herders and stole at least 20 goats.

By Phillip MuleeMonday, 12 Jun 2017 15:17 EAT

President Kenyatta addressing wananchi during a public rally at Chesongoch in Marakwet East.

Kenyans are living at the mercy of Al Shabaab terror militia and cattle rustlers despite President Kenyatta's promise on Saturday that he was committed to providing security to all Kenyans to create an environment that fosters development and growth.

In the last four weeks, more than 30 Kenyans have been killed in ethnic clashes with politicians are being blamed for instigating. These latest killings, perpetuated by ethnic tension over cattle rustling and fight over grazing areas as well as water resources, is a wakeup call as the country gears to August 8 General Election.

President Kenyatta's Elgeyo Marakwet tour was marred by bandit attacks and hostility in Chesongoch and Chepkorio areas. In Chesongoch, a herder was shot in the right hand near Kerio River by attackers suspected to be from Baringo East. The incident took place about 5km from where the President addressed a crowd. Robert Kareuno, 35, was rushed to Chesongoch Mission Hospital after the shooting on Saturday.

To the residents scampering for safety even as the president was in their region, the head of state's statement to the effect that the Jubilee Government had invested enough resources to boost security in all parts of the country flew in the face of a painful reality. Uhuru said the deployment of more security officers as well as police reservists had contained cases of insecurity in the county.

Six people were killed and several others injured after armed Pokot bandits attacked Lokori in Turkana South on Saturday. It is said over 100 armed Pokots from Mosol in West pokot and Tirioko in Tiaty, Baringo County raided Turkanas in Lokori torching several houses and stealing unknown number of livestock.

The six died in the incident which is seen as a revenge attack. A number of youth may have been injured by gunshots although they could not seek medical attention for fear of arrests and implications.

The Saturday attack comes less than two weeks after recent attack along the Isiolo and Marsabit Counties that left 10 herders dead and more than five injured. Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya said the attack in Barchuma at Kuori Dam could have been politically instigated by aspirants who want to split the communities into tribes for their political gain.

Mr Natembeya further disclosed that lack of political good will from the two counties to end cattle rustling and conflicts between communities over pasture and water is to blame for such attacks. He said local leaders were opposed to government’s plan to register or disarm communities who own illegal firearms.

Kerio Valley area in Rift Valley has also remained a battle field where a number of people have been killed as a result of cattle rustling incursions. At least 70 suspected Pokot bandits on recently launched two simultaneous attacks in Kerio Valley.

The bandits raided Chesetan and Lukuget, despite the warning to politicians by Inspector general of police Joseph Boinnet against fanning banditry attacks in the volatile region. According to the residents, armed raiders ambushed herders and stole at least 20 goats.

The killing of Loyamorok Ward Representative Kibet Cheretei and Tiaty parliamentary aspirant Pepee Kitambaa early this year still sounds alarm bells as campaigns take the home stretch. 

The midnight incident happened when the duo along with five others were entertaining themselves. The vehicle belonging to the MCA was also torched while the aspirant's was partly damaged.

Komarock Member of County Assembly (MCA) aspirant and a local businessman Edison Natambeya Nandoli was shot dead by armed gunmen under unclear circumstances in March this year. The motive of his killings has remained a mystery since nothing was stolen from him.

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