- Elders say bandits are hiding at Daaba, Luruku, Atilaku, Atani and other grazing zones
- They are worse than al Shabaab militants because they possess highly sophisticated weapons
Meru elders from Tigania have asked Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to deploy KDF to disarm bandits in the area.
The elders say the bandits are hiding at Daaba, Luruku, Atilaku, Atani and other grazing zones along the Meru-Isiolo border.
They want the criminals disarmed immediately and stolen livestock recovered.
The elders said some deputy county commissioners and chiefs are behind the escalating killing of residents, cattle rustling and destruction of the economy in the three subcounties of Tigania East, West and Central.
“Due to sophisticated weapons bandits have, police fear to disarm and recover our cattle. Why can’t KDF be deployed to disarm them? Why should KDF keep peace in Somalia whereas we have an enemy within killing our people?,"Thiankei M’Mucheke said on Saturday.
"Intelligence has information where our animals are. We ask for a thorough crackdown and disarmament and recovery of our animals,” M’Mucheke said in Urru in Tigania West where the elders gathered on Saturday.
On November 5, there was fierce gunfire between police and bandits, forcing reporters covering the mission to scamper for safety. Some sustained injuries from stones in the valley. The area has valleys and hills.
The gunfire started at about 11.30am and ended at 4pm. No animals were recovered that day.
Kaberia Limuki asked President Uhuru Kenyatta and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi to address the crisis that has left many poor, windowed, orphaned and desperate. Many women have been raped.
He said the bandits have become a major problem to Ameru people and are worse than al Shabaab terrorists because they are in possession of highly sophisticated weapons.
Limuki appealed to the government to commit itself to compensating lost lives, cattle and flush the thugs out of Tigania territory.
“We have lost a lot of people. Last week, we buried Akindoo who was killed in front of his children at his home and they went away with his 300 goats. Matiang’i, take away all those illegally owned guns. Investigate these killers and bring them to book. Our livestock have markings. These external aggressors are our al Shabaab. We want them smoked out,” Limuki said.
They said even if their cattle are recovered, they will remain insecure unless the national police reservists are armed.
Kaberia said they would have performed the traditional curse ‘kithiiri’ which is administered by the elders and affects generations of the cursed lineage but the curse only binds people of the Ameru community.