HIDDEN IN MIRAA

Gun seized as more roadblocks mounted on Isiolo-Moyale highway

A pistol was recovered from a passenger on on a Moyale bound bus

In Summary
  • The month-long operation started on May 2 and will be extended to Kom and Merti in Isiolo county.
  • The operation was launched after six people were killed in a Marsabit attack.
An Ekol P29 pistol wrapped in a bunch of miraa that was recovered on May 5 at a roadblock on the Isiolo-Moyale highway.
HIDDEN IN MIRAA: An Ekol P29 pistol wrapped in a bunch of miraa that was recovered on May 5 at a roadblock on the Isiolo-Moyale highway.
Image: NPS

More roadblocks have been mounted on the Isiolo-Moyale highway by security agencies to curb rising insecurity. 

Last Thursday, a multi-agency security team manning a roadblock at Merti junction recovered an Ekol P29 pistol during a routine check on passengers plying the route.

Police said the suspect was hiding the pistol in a bunch of miraa wrapped inside a banana leaf.

Abdulahi Hussein Sharamo, 33, was a passenger on a Moyale bound bus.

He was arrested for illegally possessing a pistol and two rounds of nine millimetre ammunition concealed in miraa wrappings.

The officers said they found two more bullets in his pockets.

Police said Sharamo had been hesitant to undergo the routine screening. 

The multi-agency security teams are on operation in the disturbed areas of Marsabit county and its environs. They aim to maintain sustainable peace and coexistence among communities.

The month-long operation started on May 2 and will be extended to Kom and Merti in Isiolo county.

Regional police boss Rono Bunei said the exercise is going on well and they have identified and arrested some of those behind the violence.

Bunei said they had recorded almost nil incidents since the operation was launched. “We are determined to continue for the sake of peace.”

The operation was launched after six people were killed in a Marsabit attack on April 28.

The six include Loglogo senior chief Kennedy Kongoman, an assistant chief and four others. The victims were in pursuit of stolen animals.

At least three people are facing murder charges over the attack.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said the operation will run in tandem with a disarmament exercise targeting illegal guns and ammunition.

Matiang'i said the National Security Council decided to launch “Operation Rejesha Amani Marsabit” following incessant inter-ethnic attacks.

He said the assailants have defied peace initiatives including the lapse of the 30-day window sought by county leaders to secure reconciliation.

“You may recall that just recently our security forces intercepted a huge cache of explosives in Merti. Those explosives were meant for Nairobi and were being moved by a terrorist cell.

"The route has become worrisome to all of us over the recent years. I cannot count the number of times our police officers have disrupted planned terror activities being channeled through that route,” Matiang'i said.

The animosity between the Borana and Gabra communities has progressively boiled over and Matiang’i has expressed concerns over political leaders who have frustrated previous attempts to pacify the area.

The CS said rival groups have been armed and transformed into competitive political militias, meting out violence on innocent civilians.

He said the resultant is a costly security challenge in the country.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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