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Three killed in Marsabit, Isiolo amid operation on illegal guns

Residents found body hours after he had been killed by gunmen, who stole an unknown number of animals

In Summary
  • There is an ongoing operation to mop up illegal guns in Marsabit county.
  • Residents claim this has exposed them to attacks from neighbouring gunmen. 
Security officials display weapons recovered in ongoing operation in Marsabit
Security officials display weapons recovered in ongoing operation in Marsabit
Image: FILE

Gunmen struck separate places in Marsabit and Isiolo counties and killed three men in incidents that have caused concern among residents.

In two incidents, the gunmen stole dozens of animals after killing the herders.

The first happened in Merti area, Isiolo, where one Patrick Gisobi Ireri, 36, was shot and killed.

Ireri and a friend who was left with injuries were fetching firewood in a thicket when they were attacked.

The motive of the killings remains unknown. The body was later picked up and taken to the mortuary.

Elsewhere, a herder was shot and killed in Badassa location, Marsabit, and several animals stolen.

Huka Haro Godana, 64, was herding his animals when he was attacked and killed. His body was discovered long after the gang believed to be from the Rendile clan escaped.

Hours later, Galsujo Kahie, 38,  was shot and killed in the Hulahula area, Marsabit Central.

Residents found the body hours after he had been killed by gunmen, who stole an unknown number of animals.

The villagers stopped police from conducting autopsies on the bodies and they were allowed to bury them.

Eastern police boss Rono Bunei said the incidents were unfortunate and vowed to pursue the attackers.

There is an ongoing operation to mop up illegal guns in Marsabit. Residents claim this has exposed them to attacks by gunmen who are after their animals.

Officials said the operation will continue until at least 5,000 of the estimated illegal guns in the county are retrieved.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i two weeks ago said although the multi-agency team deployed in May restored peace, the mopping up of illegal weapons must be concluded as a long-term security strategy.

He revealed that over 200 guns, around 3,000 ammunitions, a grenade and assorted bayonets have been surrendered under Operation Rejesha Amani.

"We need to recover more guns, we will review this operation when we have around 3,000 or so guns because we believe there are still many more guns in the wrong hands," he said.

Matiang'i expressed frustrations that a former military officer, who is a key suspect in the trafficking of illegal weapons in Marsabit had been set free by a court.

However, he vowed that the government will appeal the decision.

He further said the curfew that was extended for 30 days early this month will be in place until after the polls.

The extension is intended to facilitate the operation to stabilise a county that has been a theatre of bloody conflicts that have claimed hundreds of lives over the years.

“We will stay on this assignment until this place remains peaceful. We have made assurances that we will not end the operation until after the general elections because we want peace during the campaigns, elections and after," Matiang'i said.

The officers are drawn from specialised units including the General Service Unit,  Anti Stock Theft Unit, Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) and others.

He hailed the deployment of the security team saying it had succeeded in stopping bloody ethnic conflicts.

“Since the deployment of this team, we’ve not had a single security incident in Marsabit. We are very proud of the team for what it has achieved so far. Life has gone back to normal and residents are now able to go on with their businesses,” he said.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

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