The insecurity situation in the North Rift is yet to be contained after one person was killed and 200 livestock stolen in Gakir, Baringo County on Wednesday.
Locals who spoke to the press intimated that the deceased was searching for his livestock when he encountered the bandits and was killed on the spot. At the same time, 200 livestock were also stolen.
The residents complained that despite obeying Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki’s orders, the bandits continued to follow them to their new residential places.
They pointed out that once the bandits got wind of a police operation, they would vacate their hideout and follow the locals to their new residence.
“We are fearful. When they (bandits) get wind of police attacks, they come to these sides where we reside. When we go to our farms, we find them waiting for us. They begin demanding water and food. If you decline, they forcefully take our belongings,” one of the locals stated.
Another resident based in Laikipia urged the government to restore peace once and for all for the sake of their children. She added that previous attempts have been curtailed by the bandits.
“Kindly, tell us whether this issue can be solved once and for all. Kindly, intervene in this situation for our children’s sake. This is because we don’t have anywhere else to go.
“The attacks have left us confused as we don’t have a clear destination,” she noted.
In a statement sent to newsrooms, CS Kindiki affirmed that the reason for the evacuation order was due to the areas being used as bandits’ hideouts.
“Owing to their remoteness and terrain, none of the specified forests, caves, hills, gorges, and rugged terrain escarpments constitute habitual residence or village ordinarily inhabited by law-abiding members of the public,” Kindiki stated.
The CS added that the government would also support those who vacated their premises.
Kindiki had issued a 24-hour window for civilians in the stated areas to vacate warning that those found would be treated as suspects of armed robbery.
“Any member of the public found in the spaces specified in this paragraph after Tuesday 14th March 2023 7:30 PM will be treated as a suspect of armed banditry, or as a suspect of aiding and abetting banditry,” Kindiki warned.
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