Stop or face the law: IG Koome to bandits

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Perpetrators of bandit attacks in Baringo, Isiolo and Meru counties have been warned to immediately stop or face the law.

The Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome made the announcement while he briefed on the security operation in North Rift.

Koome has vowed to quell the resurgence of cattle rustling and banditry in Isiolo, and Meru Counties targeting ranches and conservancies, saying the government will no longer condone the killings and attacks.

“Let me be clear, that whether the resurgence of these attacks is attributed to retaliations among members of communities, or collaboration among communities to attack members of other communities, or be they targeted attacks on security personnel and installations, expansionist tendencies or the commercialization of banditry as the case has been, my message to the bandits is one: stop or face the full force of the law,” said the police IG.

Speaking at Kabarnet County Police Headquarters, Koome added that law enforcers have firm instructions to deal with those behind the menace that has resulted in the loss of lives, displacement of families and even disrupted education.

As such, a multi-agency command center has been set up for Isiolo, Meru, Laikipia, and Samburu counties to aid in the fight.

"We have deployed additional new sophisticated equipment and formed Police Units in the affected areas including Loruk and Mukogodo to beef up the ongoing Operation Maliza Uhalifu North Rift," he said.

In February 2023, the Interior Ministry declared the security situation in Turkana, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Laikipia, Samburu, and Baringo as a security emergency owing to the many banditry attacks.

Last Saturday, President William Ruto convened a meeting of the top security heads in the country to discuss the security situation in North Rift and identify solutions. Present were Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, his PS Raymond Omollo, IG Koome and his two deputies.