Leaders want KDF deployed in Kerio to flush out bandits

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022 00:00 | By
Elgeyo Marakwet Deputy Governor Wesley Rotich (right) when he visited some of the people admitted at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital after they were attacked by bandits at Koitilial in Marakwet West sub-county on Sunday. PD/Wycliff Kipsang

Leaders from the banditry-prone Kerio Valley have called on the government to deploy Kenya Defence Forces to restore calm following the killing of more than 20 people in the region.

The leaders, among them former Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Elgeyo Marakwet Deputy governor Wesley Rotich, spoke when they visited residents recuperating in various hospitals following the latest attack on Sunday that left two people dead.

Rotich questioned the motive of the attackers, whom he said have now resorted to torching abandoned homes.

“What is happening in Kerio Valley is worrying.  This is no longer cattle rustling but has become terrorism. We are of the opinion that KDF should be deployed to the area if any meaningful peace is to be realised,” said Rotich.

He feared for the fate of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education candidates in the restive region.

Boinnet yesterday said he has already spoken with Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai for the deployment of National Police Reservists to the region to be fast-tracked after undergoing vetting recently. In the Sunday afternoon attack, armed bandits shot two people dead.

The death brought to more than 60, the number of people killed in the porous region in the past six months alone.

Six other people sustained injuries during the 4pm attack at Koitilial area in Marakwet West sub-county.

People Daily has established that more than 700 animals were also stolen during the raid by bandits believed to be from the  neighbouring Tiaty sub-county in  Baringo county.

Deputy County Commissioner Mathias Chishiambo said security has been stepped up with more police officers deployed to the area to pursue the bandits.

“We urge residents to remain calm as the situation is under control. Our officers are in hot pursuit of the bandits,” said Chishiambo.

The government announced rollout of the disarmament exercise last week following the lapse of an ultimatum it had issued to herders to surrender illegal firearms.

Criminal gangs

In announcing the rollout, Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Maalim Mohamed said the government has deployed 80 National Police Reservists and three Amoured Police Carriers to help restore calm in the restive region.

“We want to get the bandits dead or alive. These are criminal gangs and the government has gazetted them just like any other gangsters,” said the administrator.

Mohamed assured that  all candidates in banditry prone regions in Rift Valley are being provided with boarding facilities and meals during the exam period.

Also hit is Baringo South sub-county where bandits shot dead five people at Riverside and Sinoni villages last week.

Last week, eight people were shot dead in Kerio Valley following a shoot out between two warring groups.

Three other people sustained injuries during the shoot out between the Marakwet and Pokot communities at Siromet area at the Baringo-Elgeyo-Marakwet border.

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