alexa Marsabit killings: Ahead of disarmament, police find 3 stolen G3 rifles - Daily Nation

Marsabit killings: Ahead of disarmament, police find 3 stolen G3 rifles

Sunday November 10 2019

Marsabit stolen G3 rifles

The G3 rifles that police recovered along Jaldesa-Shurr Road in Marsabit County on November 10, 2019, following a November 6 attack in which 13 people were killed. PHOTO | COURTESY 

JACOB WALTER
By JACOB WALTER
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Police have recovered three G3 rifles that were stolen in an attack in Jaldesa, Marsabit County, on November 6, in which three police officers and 10 herders were killed.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) reported this via Twitter on Sunday, saying the weapons were found along Jaldesa-Shurr Road.

In that attack, a group of assailants killed the three police officers as they tried to protect locals. The criminals also stole cattle.

Eastern Regional Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru told journalists on Sunday that the three guns were those that were stolen during the assault.

ULTIMATUM

Following the incident, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i on Friday gave illegal firearm holders in that county 24 hours to surrender them or face forceful disarmament.

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After the window closed on Saturday evening, all regional and local top security commands pitched camp at the county headquarters to ensure the operation yields fruit

The disarmament is expected to begin on Sunday night, amid residents' criticism of an operation carried out in Shurr last week.

The Friday night exercise was aimed at recovering the three rifles that were stolen from the slain officers.

BRUTALITY CLAIMS

A number of residents engaged in sharp exchanges with police officers at Marsabit County Referral Hospital, alleging that some innocent people were subjected to brutality.

They also demanded in vain to be addressed by the county police commander or commissioner.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Ali Gorai, accused security officers of using excessive force and applying justice selectively -- he claimed only one of the two feuding communities was targeted.

"This is unacceptable. Why would police officers mercilessly beat up innocent and unarmed women, children and youths?"

He also accused them of destroying property during the operation.

Mr Guyo Roba Quite, 23, a Form Four leaver and a volunteer teacher at Shurr Primary School, was admitted at the referral hospital with serious head injuries.

The preliminary X-ray scan showed he had a depressed skull fracture, possibly the result of being hit by a blunt object. It was not clear how he sustained the injuries.

Marsabit stolen G3 rifles

The G3 rifles that police recovered along Jaldesa-Shurr Road in Marsabit County on November 10, 2019, following a November 6 attack in which 13 people were killed. PHOTO | COURTESY

NO REPORTS

In response to the claims of brutality, Mr Nakoru said they were false and that the government would not entertain diversionary tactics aimed at derailing the disarmament.

He also refuted reports that some people were hospitalised with injuries sustained in the hands of police.

He said no such reports had been filed and ordered the arrest of people who hold demonstrations without permits from police.

The commissioner commended the officers who carried out the exercise, saying they did a good job.

He noted that that the operations are strictly aimed at confiscating illegal guns in the hands of criminals and allayed fears that innocent people would be brutalised.

He urged the people to supply the government with helpful information that would help prevent crime.

WARNING

Mr Nakoru warned of tough measures against illegal firearm holders who would not surrender them.

"We must sanitise this county to remain an example to others," he said, adding that an elaborate strategy would ensure recovery of all the weapons.

However, Mr Nakoru said there was still an amnesty for those who would give up the weapons.

SUSPECTS

Regarding arrests following killings in Jaldesa and Kukuto, the regional commissioner said four people were in police custody.

He did not give details but said the four were a local politician, an assistant chief, a retired chief and a person who drove one of the alleged killers to the hospital.

He also said that the government had taken measures to ensure no transportation of the arms out of Marsabit and that all criminals remained within the borders.

Mr Nakoru said 157 cows and 70 goats were recovered and that detectives were making headway in the investigation as they were following crucial leads.

The administrator further warned local politicians, saying some had owned up to causing killings in the region.

He said the government would no longer entertain the narrative of ethnic animosity based on the past.

Among those who attended the press briefing were Eastern Regional Police Commander Eunice Kihiko, Marsabit County Commissioner Evans Achoki and County Police Commander Steve Oloo.