Fresh tensions in Kerio Valley after bandits kill three

The three, including a police reservist, were shot dead at Koibirir in Marakwet East

In Summary
  • Rift Valley regional commissioner Abdi Mohammed said a security operation was underway to arrest those involved and return the stolen animals.
  • The two MPs have asked President Ruto to summon a national security committee meeting to discuss the banditry crisis and how to deal with it.
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki with his Roads counterpart for Roads Kipchumba Murkomenand Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich during a peace meeting in Kerio Valley on January 3rd 2023
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki with his Roads counterpart for Roads Kipchumba Murkomenand Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich during a peace meeting in Kerio Valley on January 3rd 2023
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Three people have been shot dead by bandits in the latest attack in Kerio Valley sparking off protests from local leaders.

The leaders want President William Ruto to walk the talk on his pledge to end banditry.

The three, including a police reservist, were shot dead at Koibirir in Marakwet East where residents said the raiders from West Pokot made away with hundreds of livestock.

Also killed were two herders.

Rift Valley regional commissioner Abdi Mohammed said a security operation was underway to arrest those involved and return the stolen animals.

Area MP Bowen Kangogo was among those who reacted to the attack urging President Ruto to act tough and help save lives in the region.

“We now want the president himself to get involved so that the killings can stop and allow our people to enjoy peace," Kangogo said.

Baringo North MP Joseph Makilap said the president had warned the bandits not to dare him but it was now evident they were defying the Head of State.

“The bandits have dared you our president and now we urge you to respond with the power of a commander in chief and wipe out banditry once and for all,” Makilap said.

The two MPs have asked President Ruto to summon a national security committee meeting to discuss the banditry crisis and how to deal with it effectively.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich said he was willing to engage his county in any way possible to support actions that will help to end banditry in the region.

“We are desperate and we urge the President to lead the process of ensuring our people are safe. We will do anything possible to help deal with the situation,” Rotich said.

Two weeks ago the leaders welcomed government plans to establish military and other security training facilities in Kerio Valley as measures to end banditry.

President Ruto said the military and security facilities would be set up in Turkana, Suguta and Kerio valleys to help improve security presence in the region where banditry has ravaged lives for many decades.

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki who visited the region three weeks ago had also announced further security measures to help tame banditry in the region and in another 14 counties affected by cattle rustling.

Kindiki said the government would not tolerate banditry as has been the case over the years.

He announced plans to empower chiefs and other security agents working in affected areas.

“We can’t expect a chief to help deal with such serious insecurity issues yet they are empty-handed,” Kindiki said then.

Early this month bandits killed two girls and also stole livestock on New Year's Day.

The two, a Form 3 student at Kabulwo Secondary School and her younger sister Standard 7 pupil at Kabetwa Primary School, were shot dead by bandits as they herded family livestock.

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