10 herders surrender in Laikipia amnesty deal

Over 1,200 animals were driven out of the conservancy following the surrender

In Summary
  • The government has offered amnesty to local herders to leave the expansive ranch.
  • Over ten people have been killed and others displaced in clashes.
Police drive away some of the 1,200 cows surrendered by herders in Laikipia on September 22.
HERDERS RETREAT: Police drive away some of the 1,200 cows surrendered by herders in Laikipia on September 22.
Image: NPS

Ten herders surrendered to security agents in Laikipia Nature Conservancy on Wednesday, seeking amnesty.

This followed word that their animals would be killed in the ongoing operations, as part of efforts to drive them out.

The area had been declared a disturbed zone.

Police spokesman Bruno Shioso asked those still operating in the ranches to take advantage of the amnesty offered by the government to move out.

“The government has in return offered to provide security and escort herders and their livestock out of the ranch,” he said.

He added that the operation is succeeding and normalcy had returned to the area.

This came as the military joined the multi-agency teams on the ground in digging a trench within the troubled conservancy.

Officials said a team from the second brigade dug a trench along Laikipia Nature Conservancy, from Wangwachi to Kamwenje area.

The road which links Ol-Moran, Kinamba and Kamwenje locations has in the past been used by bandits, as route in and out to steal animals from residents.

The trench will serve as a barrier for marauding animals migrating from the conservancy into nearby farmlands in search of water and pasture, destroying crops in the process.

Local leaders welcomed the project, adding that the area has been notorious with cases of animal theft. The construction of the trench will deter frequent movements by bandits.

The project is being undertaken by the 12 engineers battalion.

Shioso said there is relative calm in the area and they are now engaged in peace building efforts.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i led a team of security officials to the area in an operation to drive out attackers disturbing residents.

At least ten people were killed in three months while many were displaced in the attacks.

Matiang’i announced the creation of a police division at Ol-Moran with enough officers to patrol and boost security. Ol-Moran was gazetted as the headquarter for Kirima subcounty.

He said two additional police stations will be established in the flash point zones.

Additional National Police Reservists will also be recruited and deployed in disturbed areas.

Further, a training base for elite police units will be established to enhance police presence and serve as a buffer zone between Laikipia residents and invaders from neighbouring counties.

The CS said there will be deployment of surveyors to Laikipia to expedite titling process and review/recommend action on lapsed leases or those about to lapse.

“We will engage relevant ministries and agencies on the ideal management of the Laikipia Conservancy to mitigate its attraction as a conflict hotspot,” he said.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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