Capital FM (Nairobi)

14 September 2012

Kenya: Locals Desert Villages As GSU Lands in Tana

Garsen — General Service Unit officers begun a massive security operation in the Tana Delta on Friday where they ordered residents to cooperate or face their wrath.

"We have got no time to waste. The operation has started," the head of the operation Antony Kamitu said on arrival at Garsen late on Friday.

Although their arrival was meant to mean more security to residents, it ended up sending them into more panic as most villagers fled their homes for fear of being arrested.

"Let people not run away, we want them to cooperate with us and show us where the guns are. We are here to take them away to make sure they are safe," Kamitu said.

In Garsen town, the hundreds of the heavily armed police officers started patrolling at about 4pm and within two hours the town was deserted due to a dusk to dawn curfew imposed there.

Men, women and children who were going about their business in the busy town quickly retreated to their homes and shops were quickly closed.

"These are bad people, I know they have come to arrest us. I will not stay out anymore," Samuel Konchora, a resident in Garsen said.

Other GSU officers were deployed to Didewaride, about 60 kilometers from Garsen where most of the affected residents who fled their homes from violence-hit Kilelengwani camped.

"There are about 150 families camped here after their homes and we are doing everything possible to assist them," Kenya Regional Relief coordination officer Caleb Kilunde said.

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