Police blame politicians for Isiolo, Marsabit attacks

Wednesday May 31 2017

Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya.

Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VIVIAN JEBET
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Security officials in Isiolo and Marsabit Counties have blamed politicians for recent attacks along the border that left eight people dead and more than five injured.

Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya said the attack in Barchuma at Kuori Dam could have been politically instigated by aspirants who want to split the communities into tribes for their political gain.

Police are also pursuing normal cases of cattle theft following last Friday’s attack.

“Some politicians might be putting barriers between communities who have formed alliances ahead of the August 8 polls to ruin their rivals’ bids,” said the Commissioner.

Mr Natembeya further disclosed that lack of political good will from the two counties to end cattle rustling and conflicts between communities over pasture and water is to blame for such attacks.

OPPOSITION

He said local leaders were opposed to government’s plan to register or disarm communities who own illegal firearms.

“Whenever the government plans to disarm or register the illegal weapons, politicians are the first to incite them not to heed the government’s directive,” he added.

So far, no suspect has been arrested in connection to the attack but the administrator warned politicians against inciting locals to retaliate saying that those found culpable will be arrested and face the law.

The Commissioner who spoke during an inter-security and intelligence security meeting between security teams from the two counties to discuss way forward said it was difficult to detect which firearms were used to kill the herders since they were not registered.

“Politicians must take their roles as leaders and should offer solutions to end such attacks in their areas but instead they are busy pointing fingers at police officers and issuing press statements about the incident,” he said.

PROPAGANDA

He denied claims of border conflicts between the neighbouring communities and accused politicians of spreading propaganda saying the area in question is clearly mapped.

So far 120 goats and eight cows have been recovered but locals claim that over 1,000 animals were driven towards Laisamis, Marsabit County by about 150 bandits who shot dead seven herders from Isiolo before escaping.

A bandit from Laisamis is said to have died while an unknown number of herders were reportedly injured during the attack.

Mr Natembeya said the Modogashe declaration will be employed in the recovery of stolen animals.

He said that the government will use force if they fail to surrender them voluntarily.

Local leaders in Isiolo want the government to compensate families of those killed and foot medical bills of the injured who are recuperating at Merti Sub County Hospital.