Six suspected cattle rustlers hiding in Kamulegon Forest at the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties have turned themselves in.
They are alleged to have been involved in cattle rustling in Pokot South, Pokot Central and Marakwet East sub-counties.
Pokot Central sub-county Commissioner Were Simiyu said the bandits surrendered as police had an operation in the forest following a cattle raid in Marakwet East last week. “They feared the operation would wipe them out. They say they are willing to reform,” said Mr Simiyu.
“They could raid villages at night, steal livestock and drive them into the forest,” Simiyu added.
The commissioner said police would keep planning such security operations until all the bandits were dwelt with. He said another operation was underway and would target six counties in the North Rift.
Meanwhile, West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo has asked Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya to help elected leaders restore peace among warring communities.
Prof Lonyangapuo said efforts by the leaders had resulted in peace in the previously troubled Kerio Valley.
“I'm told we have a regional commissioner called Mr Natembeya. We are asking him to come and witness our final peace declaration on August 22. As elected leaders we have been steering these peace efforts. Natembeya should join us," he added.
Elgeyo Marakwet Deputy Governor Wisley Rotich said in an interview that banditry attacks have tainted the image of leaders from the North Rift region and derailed development.
“We put up a morgue at Tot Sub-county Hospital in Kerio Valley and it is always filled with bodies of young men shot dead by bandits,” Mr Rotich said.
"Natembeya visited our county and told me the State would eliminate all these bandits. Let him live up to his word."
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