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Special command team to take over Laikipia security operation

RIFT VALLEY
By Kennedy Gachuhi | October 13th 2021

 

Police officers at Tumaini Academy in Ol Moran area in Laikipia County in September. Despite the ongoing security operation for a month now, bandits are still terrorising residents. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The government has announced new measures aimed at bolstering security in Laikipia County where at least 11 people have been killed in the past two months.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i said in a statement that despite the ongoing security operation a month down the line, bandits continue to reign terror on residents.

“The government notes with grave concern that despite efforts to enforce peace and stability in Laikipia, hardcore bandits continue to take advantage of the prevailing drought in neighbouring counties,” said the CS.

The government pointed out that the bandits fashioned as herders seeking pasture had left their home counties from Samburu and Isiolo counties to continue to commit criminal invasions.

“The criminals are still trying to challenge the government’s resolve to restore normalcy and economic livelihoods of the residents of Laikipia,” the CS said.

Despite enhanced presence of security teams, the armed and daring bandits on Sunday evening shot three people dead; two at Eighteen Village and another at Mbogoini Village.

Last week, the bandits conducted a series of raids in various villages in Laikipia West where they made away with tens of heads of cattle some of which were recovered by security officers.

In two separate attacks, five National Police Reservists (NPRs) were shot by the bandits leaving one of them dead and four others nursing bullet injuries.

Following the attacks, Matiang’i yesterday announced that a special command team has been formed to monitor and review the operation which has not made much progress in halting attacks.

“An immediate enhancement of the ongoing security operation will be undertaken to include a crack operation in the affected area. Additional special forces and equipment under the heightened command will be deployed to the operation,” said Matiang’i.

The operation is currently being undertaken by a multi-agency team that includes officers from the National Police Service (NPS), border patrol units and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

The government however appeared to extend its amnesty through soft power directive to the invaders ordering that “Non-residents of the areas designated in the Public Order (Laikipia County) Order No 2 of 2021 leave the area.”

The government had on September 6 given similar orders to illegal herders giving them a 48 hours ultimatum to leave the area.

The defiant bandits however took cover in the expansive Laikipia Nature Conservancy from where they have continued to terrorise the residents.

The government further imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on Laikipia in a bid to ease the security operation and monitor movement of bandits.

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