GSU officers patrol outside Serena Hotel on March 20, 2023, where the Azimio party leader Raila Odinga was holding a meeting with other senior party leaders. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has told the Senate that elite GSU squad is stationed in Sondu town along the Kisumu- Kericho border and the officers conduct 24-hour patrol.

Prof Kindiki was responding to a question from by Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda on the measures that the government has put in place to promote peaceful coexistence and prevent the recurrence of the inter-communal clashes in the town.

The CS told the Senate that there is increased deployment of police with joint and regular security meetings between officers drawn from the two counties and enhanced sharing of intelligence.

“The measures put in place are effective because normalcy has been restored in the area, the schools that had been closed were reopened, businesses resumed and Sondu open market is currently operational,” he said.

He said that several suspects have been arrested and taken to court over cattle theft and there is enhanced collaboration with between state and non-state actors.

Kindiki revealed that the clashes and boundary dispute between Soin-Sigowet and Nyakach sub-counties in Kericho and Kisumu counties respectively were exacerbated by revenue collection row and stock theft.

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“During the clashes, five lives were lost and five houses torched between October 2 and October 5, 2023 with security officers moving in swiftly to contain them,” he said.

Prof Ojienda had sought to know the status update on investigations into the inter-communal clashes that occurred in Sondu town, which lies in the border region of Kericho and Kisumu counties in June and July 2023.

“I would also like to ask the Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to tell this House the progress made in the disarmament of armed groups in Sondu town so as to ensure that law and order is maintained,” he said.