The spectre of violence in the north of the country, in which scores of villagers have been slaughtered by bandits in the recent past, is a manifestation of a perennial problem that continues to bedevil the region.
The people are at the mercy of raiders notorious for wreaking havoc.
Their desperation is not helped by the fact that the terrain is hostile and largely inaccessible, making it difficult for security forces to quickly bring the deadly threat under control.
The latest incident in Marsabit County claimed 10 lives, including two police officers.
That the bandits are so audacious as to so brazenly attack even police on patrol, indicates the gravity of the security challenge.
These so-called cattle rustlers are, in fact, hardcore criminals armed with sophisticated weapons and, who often leave a trail of death and destruction in their wake.
This is lawless country that must be brought under control by deploying more personnel to beef up security.
This blatant impunity must end. According to Marsabit Governor Mohamud Mohamed Ali, more than 500 heavily armed bandits attacked two villages.
The people have become sitting ducks to be slaughtered by bandits. The governor is right.
The people are tired of the rampant killings, but are at the mercy of the criminals.
Nearly three months ago, another eight people died in two separate attacks in the same county. There has also been a hint of the involvement of raiders from across the border.
Worsening the suffering of the people are intra-clan fights over grazing land and water points, as happened in this recent attack, forcing dozens of people to flee their homes.
As we have argued time and again, the people of northern Kenya are citizens just like all the others, and deserve protection by their government.