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Four schools closed, houses torched as bandits reign terror in Kapedo

By Julius Chepkwony | January 13th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

School going children board a police vehicle in Kapedo on Monday evening. The learners were being evacuated to safer place after bandits staged an attack.

Four schools in Kapedo at the border of Baringo and Turkana Counties have been shut following an attack by suspected bandits.

The schools include Kapedo Primary, Kapedo Girls Primary, Lomelo Primary, and Kapedo Secondary.

Kapedo Secondary School, The Standard has established has 150 students.

Armed bandits raided the centre on Monday evening killing one person and injuring two others.

Students had to be evacuated using security personnel vehicles to safer locations.

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Area Chief Mercy Asimit said at least 10 houses were also torched and a health centre vandalised. Tension, she said, remains high in the region.

The chief said locals had to run for safety leaving their homes at the mercies of the attackers.

“One person was killed and two others injured, close to 14 houses torched. Learners have not reported to schools for fear of being attacked,” she said.

Bandits have over the years been unleashing terror at the centre established on an 18-acre parcel of land.

Ronald Ekai, however, questioned why the attacks continued yet there are General Service Unit and Rapid Deployment Unit officers stationed at the centre.

“Why would the officers leave the attackers destroy our property, why would we experience continuous attack yet the officers camp there? Asked Ekai.

A serious disarmament exercise he said should be conducted in the area.

Most shops in the area remained closed and the centre deserted as locals stayed away for fear of being attacked.

Justus Ekeno, the chairperson of Turkana community living in the diaspora condemned the attacks.

Lasting solution

Ekeno said it was sad that such attacks continue to negate the ongoing efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflicts in the region. The Government, he said, should bring the criminals to book.

“The Government should conduct a disarmament exercise and flash out the criminals. We have had enough of the attacks,” he said.

Pastor James Kitoe condemned the attacks adding that residents were now living in fear.

“Every Kenyan life matters and people in Kapedo deserve to be protected,” sid Kitoe.

Kitoe said not even a single attacker has ever been brought to book while the region continues to lag behind in terms of development due to insecurity.

Evaline Nabei, a resident said the region and its environs remain inaccessible due to insecurity.

“Mothers are tired of burying their children killed in such attacks,” she said while calling on the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya to deal with the criminals.

To access the area, locals have over the years relied on police escorts to avoid being attacked.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya in November 2020 held a meeting in Kapedo where illegal firearm holders were put on notice.

Natembeya during the peace and security meeting attended by leaders from the North Rift Economic Bloc received over 20 firearms surrendered by people from Turkana East as a sign of goodwill in restoring peace.

The meeting was attended by governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Stanley Kiptis (Baringo), Josphat Nanok (Turkana), Stephen Sang (Nandi), and John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot).

Also in attendance were senators Samuel Poghisio (West Pokot) and Malachi Ekal (Turkana), MPs and MCAs from West Pokot, Baringo and Turkana counties.

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