Kindiki meets Turkana leaders following increased insecurity situation in North Rift
Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki on Thursday, November 10 met leaders from Turkana County and discussed the increasing insecurity situation in the North Rift region.
"In furtherance to the Government’s resolve to decisively deal with cattle rustling and banditry in the North Rift, Interior CS Prof Kindiki Kithure has this morning held discussions with leaders from Turkana County insecurity situation in the North Rift region.
"The meeting explored ways of urgently entrenching security across the region and the promotion of ideal policies and programs to support cohesion and economic growth," Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The meeting comes days after National Police Service (NPS) reported that 700 cows had been recovered from bandits since Operation Komesha Uhalifu commenced after President William Ruto's directive.
In a statement, police said the livestock included nearly 500 hundred goats, 70 heads of cattle and 200 camels that had been stolen in Turkana, Baringo, and Isiolo counties.
"At least one suspected bandit has been shot dead in Turkana and a gun retrieved in the operation that has also been extended to West Pokot, Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet, and Laikipia counties," police said in the statement.
The operation is being carried out in the North Rift region and other arid parts of the country.
"President Ruto warned that the government will deal ruthlessly with armed criminals hiding under cultural practices to steal livestock while killing and maiming innocent citizens," police added.
Last week, President Ruto directed the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Mohammed Maalim and County Commissioners from affected counties to immediately recruit and deploy police reservists to complement security teams on the ground.
The reservists, who are traditionally drawn from local communities, are regarded as an effective bulwark against bandits and cattle rustlers due to their knowledge of the tough terrain and hiding spots relied on by the criminals to wage attacks and to frustrate security operations.
Speaking in Turkana last weekend while launching relief food distribution, the President also put on notice the masterminds and the patrons of the cattle theft syndicates saying the government was determined to bring to book the perpetrators of the vice that has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced thousands of others.
"I know those who run the cattle rustling schemes are watching me now. I am warning you against trying my temper. Mtajua hamjui (You will face my full wrath).
"We are tired of our people dying and students dropping from school. Don't play around with our temper. We will bring an end to cattle rustling with whatever it takes.
"Even if it means bringing in the military to take care of this problem,” Ruto said in Turkana.
Kindiki holds meetings with police
Kindiki had already held meetings with senior security chiefs on the implementation of the Presidential directive and the ongoing operation that also targets the mopping up of illegal guns and the elimination of gun-racketing networks blamed for fuelling the cyclic violence.
The latest records from the National Police Service reveal that late last month, a multi-agency team acting on a tip-off recovered 24 stolen goats and an AK-47 gun from a suspected homestead in Turkana County.
Another 34 goats that had been stolen in Lokwall village in the same county by bandits suspected to have crossed over from West Pokot County were also recovered last week.
On Monday, November 7, the same security team recovered 70 cattle and 150 goats after a confrontation with a group of armed attackers that left at least one suspected bandit dead.
The largest recovery has however been in Isiolo county where 200 camels and 300 goats that had been stolen were recovered and handed back to the owners.
The police have appealed to members of the public to volunteer any information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of suspected bandits and their accomplices.