Tension in Marakwet after bandits raze KFS camp in Embobut forest

Monday April 3 2017

Houses go up in flames as KFS evict squatters from Embobut forest in the past. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Houses go up in flames as KFS evict squatters from Embobut forest in the past. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PHILEMON SUTER
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By DENNIS LUBANGA
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Tension is high in a Marakwet East village, Elgeyo Marakwet County after suspected bandits attacked and razed a Kenya Forest Service (KFS) station on Sunday evening.

The 12 KFS officers manning the station in Tangul escaped unhurt in the Sunday evening incident and have been relocated to neighbouring stations.

KFS Senior Deputy Director in charge of Field Operations Essau Omollo said the camp is used to conserve Embobut Forest which is part of the Cherangany water tower.

"We want to put it on record that none of our officers has been injured or killed,” said Mr Omollo.

CONSULTATIVE FORUMS

Speaking on Monday at the scene of the incident, Mr Omollo said that all those behind the incident will be brought to book.

Elgeyo Marakwet Deputy County Commissioner Eric Mulevu led a team of security officers to the area and appealed to members of the public with any information about the attackers to forward it to the police for investigations.

He said they had held several consultative forums with members of the local Sengwer community over the matter.

According to Mr Mulevu, Kapyego location chief Cornelius Cheptarus was hurt and his motorcycle reduced to ashes.

GATHER INFORMATION

The incident, according to locals, was a retaliation against the officers who have been accused of harassing them.

Learning activities at Tangul Primary School were paralysed following the attack.

Nine houses, one vehicle used for surveillance and a motorcycle belonging to the local provincial administration team were burnt.

North Rift head of Conservancy Dedan Nderitu told Nation on Monday that the situation was going back to normalcy and that he was leading a team of officers to the affected area to gather more information.

In the past one year, the evictees have been in conflict with the KFS officers in which a community scout lost his life while two officers are reported to have been injured.