Residents of Turkana county have raised fears over insecurity even as a joint police and military operation to flush out bandits continues.
Despite the heavy deployment of the National Police Service (NPS) and Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) personnel, cases of attacks are still on the rise.
The latest incident was the Sunday raid at Lomelo area in Turkana East, where suspected bandits believed to have crossed over from Tiaty in Baringo, surrounded a village and a security camp and opened fire at residents and security officers manning the camp.
Turkana East Sub County Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Said Safu Shaaban said an unknown number of raiders attacked the camp.
“There was an attack, but security personnel repulsed the unknown number of gunmen suspected to be youth from a neighbouring county before they could attack residents. We have beefed up security in the area,” Shaaban said.
In a separate incident, Shaaban, said two herders were shot dead at Kachalanga in the Lokwamosing area in Turkana East and an unknown number of livestock was stolen.
A local administrator, who asked not to be named, said a middle-aged man was shot and injured at Kakong days after bandits killed three police officers and injured eight others in Turkana South.
Residents have decried cases of heightened insecurity in Turkana South and East sub-counties, raising fear that the current security operation to flush out armed bandits is yet to bear any fruits.
A resident, Ekiru Arot, 34, said they have lost several livestock to suspected Pokot bandits.
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Arot said armed raiders from the neighbouring county have continued to attack residents despite the deployment of security personnel to the region.
“They killed my father and drove away hundreds of cattle. The bandits are still lurking in the bush, playing hide-and-seek games with security personnel. We watch them taking a bath daily at Kainuk river while armed,” Erot claimed.
Two weeks ago, four people were killed and two others seriously injured at Lomelo village after suspected Pokot bandits from Tiaty ambushed herders at a grazing field.
The DCC said the attackers stole an unknown number of livestock after they engaged herdsmen in a fierce gun battle.
“The bandits successfully managed to drive away an unknown number of goats towards Tiaty area. Efforts by the Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) officers to pursue them flopped due to the difficult terrains,” Mr Shaaban said.
Turkana Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai, Turkana central legislator Joseph Namuar, Dr. John Ariko (MP Turkana South), called on the Interior Ministry to act faster to address escalating insecurity in the region.
Lomorukai blamed some Pokot leaders for allegedly being financiers of the conflicts along the Turkana-West Pokot border.
“It is sad that some of the leaders from our neighbouring counties are financiers of cattle rustling in the region. It is unacceptable for one community to continue to kill and cause mayhem to other peace-loving communities. The government must stump its authority to deal with cattle rustlers and arrest the leaders instigating violence in the region,” Lomorukai said.
The dawn-to-dusk curfew in Turkana South, East, Baringo, parts of Samburu and West Pokot is expected to curb the cases.