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Samburu residents threaten to walk to Matiang'i office to report cattle rustling

By Martin Njiru | Published Sun, February 4th 2018 at 14:50, Updated February 4th 2018 at 14:58 GMT +3
Recently a group of armed cattle rustlers raided the area and stole more than a 1,000 herd of cattle and a 1,200 goat [File, Standard]

Residents of Suyian location north have threatened to walk all the way to Nairobi to meet and ask Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to address rising incidents of cattle rustling in the region.

This comes after a group of armed cattle rustlers raided the area and stole more than a 1,000 herd of cattle and a 1,200 goat.

The cattle rustlers shot and killed two herders and injured three youth including a 12-year-old girl on Friday evening.

The angry residents said they would be staging a demonstration to the county police boss in Maralal town before heading to Matiang'is office in Nairobi by foot.

Suyian location is more than 400 kilometres to Nairobi.

"We will walk all the way to Nairobi to air our grievances, we have lost livestock but we would want the government to know that we are tired of this," said a resident.

Suyian location chief Karoli Lalaur said that more than 40 households have been turned into beggars following the raid.

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He said that the households fully depended on livestock for livelihood.

The chief called upon the relevant authorities to follow up ad make sure that the stolen livestock have been recovered and returned to their owners.

However, the residents clarified that they would not be accepting livestock that did not belong to them in case the attackers decide to return the animals. 

They noted that this was not the first time members of the neighbouring community ambushed them and drove away their animals. 

"This is the third time we are losing our only source of livelihood to our neighbours. We have always settled matters amicably by returning the livestock they steal from us, but they return weak and young livestock that sometimes succumb to health weakness," said resident Anthony Lemeredete.

Lemeredete lost more than two hundred herds of cows in the Friday attack.

He said that the village had been turned into a a begging village by insecurity.

He narrated how young children had turned to sleeping with shoes in case of any other attack.

Lemisiaroi Lesipel, a village elder said that they explored all means of negotiating for peace with their neighbours in vain.

"We suspect our neighbours have been stealing from us, we have tried to beg for peace but all what we discuss ends in our meetings," he said.

Speaking in Baragoi after a security meeting on Saturday area leaders urged the area security apparatus to act with speed and recover the stolen animals.

Led by governor Moses Lenolkulal, the leaders said that they expect the culprits, who are allegedly known by the community, to be arrested and charged.

"We not only want the police to recover animals, they should arrest the criminals and charge them with robbery with violence and murder," said Lenolkulal.

Samburu north member of parliament, Alois Lentoimaga said that, in the closed door security meeting, they had agreed that the police and other security officers should deliver a positive communication in three days from Monday (today).

He said that the government should extend and intensify security operations in the area to avert any other pending incidents of cattle rustling.

 "Any culprit should be arrested and charged, be it a Samburu, a Turkana or any other, the law must be followed," he said.

 The legislator said that as leaders they will go to any length to make sure that the stolen animals are recovered.

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