Armed security personnel deployed to flush out illegal herders

A herd of cattle belonging to illegal grazers enter Sosian Ranch in Laikipia County. [Standard]
The Government has deployed armed security personnel to flush out illegal herders who have invaded private conservancies and ranches in Laikipia County.

Herders, mainly from Samburu, Baringo and Isiolo counties, have driven hundreds of cattle and camels into the establishments.

According to Rift Valley Police Commander Edward Mwamburi, the officers were deployed on Monday to stop escalation of violence and continued destruction of private property.

Mr Mwamburi said the officers from the General Service Unit, Anti-Stock Theft Unit and regular police commenced the operation at the Laikipia Nature Conservancy.

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He said the illegal herders began invading the conservancies during the dry spell.

In April, a number of herders had moved their stock to Komu swamp at the border of Eastern and Rift Valley regions.

Troop back

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“Rains in parts of Laikipia is not much like in other parts of the country, an issue that has been forcing herders to troop back to private ranches in Laikipia,” said Mwamburi.

Jennings Farm is among the county’s affected ranches.

Ranch owner Lucy Jennings said the herders had destroyed property worth millions of shillings.

She said about 2,000 head of cattle grazed on her farm at night. “It is heartbreaking to wake up and count losses caused by illegal grazers,” she said.

The rancher launched a compliant with area police boss and county commissioner, but action is yet to be taken, an issue that has made her live in fear.

According to Jennings, the herders hide at Marura Waso Narok swamp, Kahari and Veterinary Thome that border her ranch.

In April, armed herders shot and killed Jennings’ chief security officer Samuel Lokurchan. Perpetrators of the murder are yet to be apprehended

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Laikipia CountyBaringoSamburuIsioloRift Valley Police Commander Edward MwamburiGeneral Service UnitAnti-Stock Theft UnitLaikipia Nature Conservancy