• Most of the hideouts have been located within heavily forested and remote area especially within Tiaty constituency in Baringo.
•Police have also profiled masterminds and aim to arrest them, especially as they are also involved in training young outlaws.
Security teams in Kerio Valley aim to destroy major hideouts used by bandits to plan and carry out attacks.
Most of the hideouts are within remote, heavily forested areas, especially in Tiaty constituency in Baringo.
Police are focusing on masterminds and plan to arrest them. They are involved in training young people to become bandits, cattle rustlers and killers, police said.
Three days ago, a notorious bandit identified as Lotolomoi was arrested in Tiaty during an operation. He is linked to several attacks in which police officers were killed in the region, police have said.
But the big multi-agecy, multi-faced operation is is yet to start. It will involve relief food for the duration of the operation.
Rift Valley regional commissioner Maalim Mohamed said security teams will not relent until they end banditry, root and branch.
“We have stepped up measures to ensure we go to those hideouts and flus out criminals as part of measures to deal with security operations once and for all,” the commissioner said.
He said the government is developing a road map and master plan to wipe out banditry in Kerio Valley and other affected counties.
Security agencies are now working with all stakeholders, including elected leaders to come up with a plan that will be to wipe out banditry.
The worst affected counties in the region include West Pokot, Baringo, Samburu, Turkana and Laikipia, among others.
Parts of the roadmap already have been handed over to Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who has been meeting governors and county commissioners to discuss the problem.
“I pledge we will work with all elected leaders and communities to ensure we extinguish banditry," the Rift Valley commissioner said.
Part of the plan calls for developing infrastructure in the region, including roads and electricity, putting up more schools and also expanding programmes to benefit the youth.
Mohammed insisted that since he was posted to the region a few months ago, the security situation had improved because he worked closely with communities, leaders and security teams.
“We have done some good work and we will working with the government to ensure full peace and security,” Mohamed said.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said they will push for tougher laws to help fight banditry in Kerio Valley and elsewhere.
The laws would classify banditry as terrorism.
Cherargei said bandits operate like terrorists.
He promised to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act to include banditry crimes.
“When you as a bandit kill a family including children, then you are just the same as a terrorist, and we should not have any sympathy for such people,”Cherargei said.
(Edited by V. Graham)