ANOTHER ESCAPES UNHURT

Suspected Pokot bandits kill man in Baringo–Samburu border

A second victim is injured and rushed to Samburu’s Maralal Referral Hospital

In Summary

• The victims were going to buy animals for sale at Amaya livestock market in Tiaty, Baringo county on Tuesday. 

• A chief told the Star the place is notorious for attacks but it has been peaceful for some time.

Armed police officers on security patrol at Riongo near Kapedo, border of Baringo and Turkana counties on August 27, 2019.
Armed police officers on security patrol at Riongo near Kapedo, border of Baringo and Turkana counties on August 27, 2019.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO
Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya during a security meeting at the Kenya School of Government in Kabarnet town, Baringo county in July 2019.
Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya during a security meeting at the Kenya School of Government in Kabarnet town, Baringo county in July 2019.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Masked men suspected to be Pokot bandits have attacked three businessmen, killing one and robbing him of his clothes, money and phone in Amaya-Longewan border of Baringo and Samburu. 

A second man escaped unhurt while the third was injured and was rushed to Samburu’s Maralal Referral Hospital. The body was taken to the hospital's mortuary.

The victims were going to buy animals for sale at Amaya livestock market in Tiaty, Baringo county on Tuesday. 

“They were ambushed and attacked around the bushy and deserted Lutungai Conservancy area, close to 15 kilometres away from Amaya market,” a chief told the Star on Wednesday.

The chief said the place is notorious for attacks but it has been peaceful for some time.

 Tiaty East deputy county commissioner Sylvester Baraza said police officers, conservancy rangers with tracking dogs have joined hands with residents to hunt down the criminals.

 

“We still have scanty information but we will get back to you once we apprehend the suspects and understand the cause of the attack,” Barasa said.

Barasa said he could not tell whether it was a bandit attack or a highway robbery.

“We are also receiving reports that the victims were drunk at the time of the attack, maybe it is a robbery planned by their business competitors,” Barasa said.

The attack comes barely a week after suspected armed Pokot bandits ambushed and shot dead boda boda rider Sammy Chepkok, 22, at Kobol along Kagir-Marigat road on Wednesday.

“This is an innocent young man who had just resettled his family after fleeing from previous fatal attacks in the area,” Chemoe resident Richard Chepchomei said.

He said the incident is one out of the 20 highway robberies the suspected Pokot bandits have executed along the road since January last year without arrests being made. 

Chepchomie said the bandits have killed at least six people, injured several and stolen more than 2,000 livestock in Baringo since 2018.

“More officers should be deployed to conduct constant patrols in the area,” he said.

Residents have appealed to the Rift Valley regional commissioner Gorge Natembeya to tackle the bandits by ordering forced disarmament in the area.

Natembeya told a peace committe at Toplen in Tiaty subcounty last week that his officers shall pursue the bandits to the caves, up the trees and the hills, have them arrested and prosecuted for murder and robbery.

He urged the warring Pokot, Tugen, Marakwet, Samburu and Turkana pastoral communities to coexist in peace.

“This is very shameful of you to attack each other while your leaders always meet to dine and wine in big hotels,” Natembeya said.

He called on the communities to stop the resource and boundary disputes because every Kenyan has a right to live and invest anywhere.