Four residents killed in rustling-prone region

Villagers who witnessed the killings said the attackers were known to the victims.

Friday March 25 2016

The Kerio Valley Keiyo escarpment in Elgeyo-Marakwet County. Three people were shot dead in the Kerio Valley, by suspected members of one community in a fight over resources, sparking mass movement of people and livestock. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Kerio Valley Keiyo escarpment in Elgeyo-Marakwet County. Three people were shot dead in the Kerio Valley, by suspected members of one community in a fight over resources, sparking mass movement of people and livestock. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PHILEMON SUTER
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By SAMMY LUTTA
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A total of four people have been killed in two cattle rustling-prone areas in North Rift.

Three were shot in Kerio Valley, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, by suspected members of one community in a fight over resources, sparking mass movement of people and livestock.

This prompted Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet to urgently convene a meeting in Nairobi with MPs from Marakwet and Pokot on Thursday afternoon.

The victims of the attacks were from the Marakwet community, with the assailants believed to be their neighbours across the border - the Pokot.

The Pokot are said to have crossed over into the Marakwet side with their livestock in search of pasture and water.

Two of the residents, Mr Kipkiror Ng’oleikwang Odera and Mr William Lotuma Reng’etich, were gunned down, while one, Mr Peter Lokwaling’a, was strangled to death near River Kerio in Marakwet East Sub-County.

KILLERS KNOWN

Villagers who witnessed the killings said the attackers were Pokot herders known to the victims. They said the two sides had quarrelled over resources.

Mr Nixon Boisio, a resident, told the Nation, “What we only need to hear from the police is that the culprits have been apprehended, and nothing short of this.”

Another resident, Mr Julius Chesawach, in whose Kowou Village the three were killed, told the Nation that if the police do not swiftly bring the assailants to book, chaos might erupt.

Bethwel Kaino, a journalist from the affected village who is attached to the Office of the Deputy President, said: “These killings erode the gains of peace in the region we have enjoyed since 2003.”

Marakwet East MP Bowen Kangogo said he regretted the killings, and called for the sacking of all the chiefs in the area.

The MP told the Nation on the phone that he and his colleagues from the affected region were headed to a meeting convened by Mr Boinnet in Nairobi.

He spoke as hundreds of his constituents fled their farms in the valley with their livestock in fear of further attacks.

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