Bandits attack village in Samburu, kill four

The Saturday attack occurred as tension is rising in the area following a series of attacks that have left 12 people dead and 1500 families displaced despite a heavy presence of security personnel deployed in the area for a security operation.

Local leaders have condemned the escalating attacks and appealed to the Interior Cabinet Secretary Kindiki Kithure and his Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo to move to Samburu and supervise the ongoing security operation from the ground.

"As Samburu residents, we are in pain because our people are being killed like flies, yet we have an entire security force deployed here for an operation. This is unacceptable," said Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda.

Lesuuda challenged the security personnel deployed in the area to be proactive in restoring law and order instead of relying on hearsay.

The former Samburu woman representative Maison Leshoomo, who also attended the burial, urged the National government to arm chiefs.

A police vehicle offloading four bodies at a mortuary following attacks at Lolmolog village in Samburu West Constituency on Saturday. [Michael Saitoti, Standard]

"Chiefs must be armed. They are the first contact with bandits, and live within the community. The national government must consider arming them," she said.

She took issue with the multi-agency security team deployed in the area, saying they were dropping a bomb in Hills rather than in the valley where the suspected bandits were hiding with the stolen animals.

Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Bishop David Lebarleyia, who presided over the burial of the principal chief, said the clergy was tired of burying people every week.

"We urge the government to take decisive action against the bandits and cattle rustlers. As church leaders, we are tired our burying our people every week. The killings have to stop," the bishop said.

Lebarleyia regretted that the attacks were happening when the residents were facing starvation due to drought, complicating the situation in the region.

"These people are now in a dilemma because they are fighting drought on one side and bandits on the other. The government must make things easier for them by stopping the attacks," he said.

Samburu County Commissioner Henry Wafula said the government was committed to ending banditry in the region and promised to protect the people.

"The government is aware of the challenges you people are facing, and we are doing everything we can to ensure you and your property are protected. Please do not flee your homes," said the administrator.