State declares dusk to dawn curfew in troubled Laikipia Conservancy

Security officers patrol part of the troubled Laikipia Conservancy in the past. The government has announced a major security operation to flush out the bandits. [File, Standard]

The Government will start a major security operation to flush out illegal occupants of Laikipia Conservancy and its environs following the declaration of the region as a disturbed area.

In a statement issued on Monday after a National Security Council meeting at State House, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the security operation will commence immediately.

“The government has declared Laikipia Nature Conservancy and its environs disturbed areas paving way for the security operation,” read the statement.

CS Matiang’i also declared a dusk to dawn (6pm-6am) in the affected areas and directed anyone who has illegally moved their livestock into the conflict zone including politicians to remove them within the next 48 hours.

Speaking to The Standard on phone Laikipia Woman Rep Catherine Waruguru hailed CS Matiangi and the National Security Council for swift response to help restore peace in the troubled areas.

“We acknowledge the prompt and timely response by the National Security Council over the insecurity in Laikipia. We welcome the set directives with the hope that's its implementation will restore the much-needed peace,” she said.

Waruguru urged residents in the affected areas to adhere to the set directives as the Government organs flush out the perpetrators of the recent attacks.

“Let us adhere to the government directives so that the operation becomes smooth without many casualties,” she added.

The County MP urged the clergy and locals to pray for the victims of the attacks and for peace to reign in this great County.

Waruguru had blamed CS Matiangi’ for taking too long to flush out the bandits in the troubled areas.

Why is CS Matiang'i complaining about unnamed politicians funding the attacks, but is yet to arrest any political leader despite having government machinery at his disposal?” she posed.

She read politics into the ongoing attacks, saying they are only common as the country approaches elections.

“Something must be done to stop this dangerous pattern, she said adding that we had conflict before 1992, 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017 general elections.

Numerous attacks

The operation comes after armed bandits attacked the Kamwenje General Service Unit (GSU) command centre on Monday in Laikipia injuring one officer.

This now brings to seven the number of security officers who have been injured by bandits in the last one month in Laikipia County.

The injured officer is recuperating at the Nakuru War Memorial Hospital.

On August 15, four security officers attached at volatile Laikipia Nature Conservancy were attacked by suspected bandits who have been hiding inside the conservancy.

On August 2, a General Service Unit (GSU) officer was killed at Ol Moran area in Laikipia County.

The officer was among police officers patrolling the Laikipia-Baringo border in the wake of the attacks.

The attacked happened just day a day after armed bandits raided Wangwaci village and killed one person.

In the July 30 attack, the attackers stole 50 cows causing further tension and anxiety among residents who had on July 29, withdrawn their children Kabati, Mihango and Wangwaci primary schools in Ol Mora

On July 24, two GSU officers were shot and injured after they were attacked by gunmen in Laikipia North. The two officers were part of a team operating in the area when they were attacked in Loisaba Ranch as they were changing their car's tyre.

The government pledged to deploy security in the seven hotspots and ranches in Laikipia County for a major security operation to flush out illegal herders and bandits, last month but very little has happened with the attacks still taking place.