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ELECTION 2022

West Pokot villagers flee homes after GSU officer's killing

RIFT VALLEY
By Stephen Rutto | May 24th 2019 | 1 min read
West Pokot villagers flee homes after GSU officer's killing

Dozens of families have fled the border between Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot following the killing of a General Service Unit (GSU) officer in the area.

The GSU officer, who is said to have been off-duty,  was killed in a gun battle with suspected cattle rustlers at Psitona, West Pokot.

Up to 26 cattle were stolen during the Monday attack.

Villagers started fleeing fearing that youths from one of the communities in the area might be regrouping to revenge the killing.

Areas hit by an exodus of villagers on the Marakwet side include Kamelei, Kalya, Kabero, Kapsitotwo and Takar.

On the West Pokot side, Kamelei, Tapach, Karawal, Serena have remained largely deserted.

“Women, children and the elderly have been sleeping by the road since Tuesday,” said one of the residents, Vincent Kiprotich.

Marakwet East sub-county police commander Vincent Kitili said security has been enhanced in the area.

“The GSU, Anti-Stock Theft Unit and Administration Police officers are patrolling the area to restore calm,” Kitili said.

Mr Kitili said police are following crucial leads to arrest masterminds Moday's attack.

On Wednesday, Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos visited the area and appealed to the Interior CS Fred Matiang'i to step in and end the new wave of cross-border skirmishes.

"The situation has become so dire that armed criminals are invading schools to flush out teachers and learners from certain communities," he said

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