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Tension in Lokichoggio as armed militia storm security camp

RIFT VALLEY
By Lucas Ngasike | August 9th 2021
An armed man spotted at Kapau in Tiaty Baringo County on November 10, 2017 [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Tension was high in Lokichoggio border town in Turkana West Sub County after suspected armed Toposa militia from South Sudan invaded a Kenyan security camp.

The invaders were seeking production of herds of cattle stolen from across the Nadapal border point.

Turkana West police boss Richard Moracha confirmed that the militia attempted to surround security installations at the border point but their attempts were thwarted by security forces.

“We don’t understand why they crossed over to our side while armed. We tried to inquire from them but they put the claim that our security forces were harbouring some 12 cows that had been stolen by suspected Turkana bandits,” Mr Moracha said.

The police boss said they talked to them to prove that none of the stolen cattle was being kept in the security camps.

The militia claimed to have followed the footprints of their stolen cattle, footprints said to have passed through the two security camps.

He said the militia retreated in a huff but went on to display their anger on Chinese road construction workers who are constructing A1 road along Lokichoggio-Nadapal and chased them away.

The OCPD confirmed that one suspected Toposa and a Turkana bandit were shot dead during the raid.

“We asked the Toposas to return to their country as we pursue the suspects with an aim of recovering the stolen animals since they had brokered peace between the two communities last month to end cross-border animosity. We have tightened security along the border. Our security personnel is also pursuing some leads to recover the animals,” he said.

He added: “Why would only 12 cows cause tension in the region and spoil peace that had been achieved at the volatile border? We shall pursue the culprits and recover the animals.”

He warned Toposa militia not to retaliate when such incidents occur, urging them to explore diplomatic mechanisms through their leaders to resolve the matter.

There have been rampant cross-border conflicts pitting Turkana and Toposa communities over cattle rustling.

 

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