• The government withdrew over 300 police reservists from the area
• Police say 30 of 43 head of cattle stolen during the attack were recovered
A Tugen herder has been shot dead in fresh attacks along the Kapedo-Baringo border.
Three other people, including two police officers, suffered bullet injuries during the Monday raids. Jackson Rotich, 24, was killed by suspected Pokot rustlers in Chemorong’ion village, Baringo South. His body was taken to a Kabarnet mortuary.
“They [bandits] drove away 129 goats towards Chepkalacha to the neighbouring Tiaty subcounty,” Arabal chief William Koech said, adding that tension was high.
He said Rotich had been in the company of three other herders when the attackers, armed with AK-47 guns, pounced on them at midday.
In a separate attack in Kasiela, herder Esau Koech was injured. The raiders fled with 43 head of cattle. Esau was rushed to the county referral hospital in Kabarnet town.
“We dispatched our officers immediately to pursue the criminals and they’ve already recovered 30. We’ve also spotted where the remaining 13 have been hidden and we’re manoeuvering to recover all of them,” county police commander Robinson Ndiwa told the Star on Tuesday.
In the past six months, security officers have recovered almost all the stolen animals as they intensify their efforts to frustrate the bandits, he said. “Like on May 20, we recovered all the 135 animals stolen by the bandits at Embosos in Baringo South,” Ndiwa said.
Elsewhere, two police officers are recovering in Nakuru General Hospital after being ambushed and injured by the suspected bandits on Monday.
“They were travelling in their vehicle from Marigat town headed for Kapedo when a large number of armed bandits attacked them at Kapedo-Ameyan Bridge,” Ndiwa said.
He said the two groups engaged in fierce gunfire before the bandits were overpowered and repelled into nearby bushes. Some of the attackers suffered bullet injuries.
“We are appealing to members of the public and the health facilities to watch out and report to the police any person with bullet wounds who may resurface anywhere for assistance,” the county police boss said.
The attacks took place barely a month after the government withdrew more than 300 National Police Reservists from the volatile parts of the North Rift region — Baringo, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Turkana and West Pokot bordering Samburu and Laikipia. The warring communities are the Tugen, Pokot, Ilchamus, Marakwet and Turkana.
On Tuesday, Mochongoi MCA Kipruto Kimosop expressed his displeasure at the government for ‘allowing’ the bandits to roam with guns and maim and kill residents.
He called for a rigorous disarmament crackdown to flush out the bandits from their hideouts.
Last week, Rift Valley regional coordinator George Natembeya promised to restore peace in the area.
(Edited by F'Orieny)