By ROBERT KIPLAGAT
More than 2,000 residents have fled their homes in Baringo North District after suspected cattle rustlers raided villages and stole 500 goats.
According to the locals, more than 50 suspected Pokot cattle rustlers armed with AK47 riffles attacked the Chemoe, Yatya, Kagir and Bartabwa villages twice last night and shot in the air, scaring the villagers before fleeing with the stock.
Tension remains high in the area as villagers flee their homes to safer areas for fear of further attacks. The incident happens barely a week after more than 300 goats were stolen and 10 people shot dead during a confrontation between the rustlers and the security personnel in Chemoe area.
The residents led by Richard Chepchomei have expressed concern over rampant insecurity in the area and accused the Government of laxity in arresting the culprits despite them being well known.
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“It has become the norm that cattle rustlers attack during the December festivities and we appeal to the Government to double its efforts to recover the stolen livestock and also beef up security,” said Chepchomei.
Mid this year, eight people were killed, 12,000 residents displaced and 14 schools closed after suspected Pokot cattle rustlers from neighbouring East Pokot District raided Bartabwa.
Baringo OCPD Omondi Musewe, who toured the volatile area, told The Standard that more personnel would be deployed in the area to prevent further attacks.