Rashid Abubakar @MountKenyaTimes
The government has ordered all non-residents within the troubled Laikipia County security operation area to vacate the area with immediate effect as part of efforts to enforce peace and stability in the region.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i in a statement released on Tuesday said an immediate enhancement of the ongoing security operation will be undertaken in the affected area.
The government lamented that despite the enhanced presence of security teams, criminals were frustrating efforts to resolve to restore normalcy and the economic livelihoods of the residents of Laikipia.
“The government notes with grave concern that despite its efforts to enforce peace and stability in Laikipia, hardcore bandits continue to take advantage of the prevailing drought situation in neighbouring counties to commit criminal incursions,” stated the CS.
He added: “Despite the enhanced presence of security teams, criminals are still trying to challenge the Government’s resolve to restore normalcy and the economic livelihoods of the residents of Laikipia. This will not be tolerated.”
Consequently, the Government has said additional special forces and equipment under the heightened command will be deployed to the operation.
Further, CS Matiang’i noted, a special command team to monitor and continuously review the operation to rid the area of criminal elements has been put in place.
The latest move coming only a day after three people were killed by bandits who raided a home at Ndindika Village, Ngarua division in Laikipia County.
One person was injured in an attempted cattle rustling near Laikipia Nature Conservancy.
The bandits had driven hundreds of animals from different homesteads, but were intercepted by security.
After a few hours, the bandits returned to the village in bid to revenge over the recovery of the animals.
National Police Service spokesman Bruno Shiosi said the incident occurred on Sunday at 4pm.
“Three suspected Pokot bandits staged a daring attack at the home of Michael Kananu and made away with 32 heads of cattle and two sheep,” he said.
“While driving the stolen cattle towards Laikipia Nature Conservancy, the bandits shot indiscriminately at the four who were fishing at Mbogoini Dam at the time,” added NPS spokesperson.
Shiosi said a multi-agency security team responded promptly and an exchange of fire with the criminals ensued.
“All the stolen livestock were recovered and returned to the owner. The Multi-agency security team is still out pursuing the criminals,” he added via social media post on Monday.
Over the past two months, more than 15 people have been killed, an estimated 400 families displaced, and hundreds of livestock in Ol Moran and Githiga wards in Laikipia County due to recurrent banditry attacks and cattle rustling.