Herder linked to raid shot dead in renewed attacks

Monday May 27 2013

Residents of Loruk protest against banditry and cattle rustling in Baringo North. Leaders of the neighbouring East Pokot want the government to put on hold a planned guns mop-up. Photo/ File

Residents of Loruk protest against banditry and cattle rustling in Baringo North. Leaders of the neighbouring East Pokot want the government to put on hold a planned guns mop-up. Photo/ File 

By BARNABAS BII [email protected] and WYCLIFF KIPSANG [email protected]

A man suspected to be a raider has been killed and another injured in renewed attacks between Pokot and Turkana pastoralists.

The new wave of cattle rustling has derailed talks to resolve the conflict that has claimed dozens of lives since the beginning of the year.

The raider was in a gang that attacked Lopei in Turkana South District at the weekend and made away with more than 200 goats.

“The attackers from Kasei Division in Pokot North District were escaping with the animals when they were confronted by a team of Turkana herdsmen and Kenya Police Reservists,” Turkana South district commissioner Elijah Godo told Nation on Monday.

He said police were searching for the other raiders and recover the stolen animals.

Pokot raiders staged the retaliatory attack after their colleague was killed at Kaputir last week.

“It is wrong for the pastoralists to stage retaliatory attacks instead of letting the security team crack down on those involved in acts of lawlessness,” said Mr Godo.

Tension has gripped the border of Loima and Pokot North districts over fears of attacks by members of the two pastoralist groups.

Loima acting DC Bernard Odino said police had been deployed to the area to manage the situation.

A similar situation has engulfed the Kenya-Ethiopia border following the killing of a Turkana herdsman and stealing of unknown number of animals by suspected Nyang’atom raiders.
The Ethiopians raided a village in Kibish District on Thursday and killed the herdsman.

“The attack is an act of aggression after the pastoralists entered into an agreement on sharing of resources to avert armed conflicts,” said Mr Eric Wanyonyi, the Kibish DC.

He appealed to administrators at Omurate in Ethiopia to crack down on the attackers and recover the animals to avert revenge attacks by the Turkanas.

Police in West pokot have arrested a suspected criminal and recovered 24 bullets.

“The suspect is among a group of gangsters involved in illegal arms trade between a neighbouring country and parts of the North Rift,” said West Pokot police boss David Wambua.
He said the suspect was to deliver the ammunition to a dealer in Trans Nzoia County, which has faced an upsurge in crime in recent months.

The arms seizure came as East Pokot leaders called on the government to put on hold planned disarmament in the area, pledging to identify bandits who have been unleashing terror on neighbouring districts.

Led by Ribkwo County Assembly representative Daniel Tuwit, the leaders said they would cooperate with police in the arrest of criminals. A gangster was gunned down in the area last week.

“A forceful disarmament will not be of much help as innocent civilians will suffer in the hands of security personnel while the real culprits will escape,” Mr Tuwit told the Nation in Kabarnet Monday.