14 November 2012

Kenya: Councillor, Four Chiefs in Court Over Baragoi Killings

Baragoi residents have begun to flee the area after the arrival of the troops in the region. The government deployed security forces to track down ... ( Resource: Residents in Northwest Kenya Flee Army )

A councillor and four chiefs were on Wednesday arraigned before a Mararal court and charged with violent robbery, which led to the deaths of at least 42 police officers at Baragoi in Samburu County.

The five all denied the charges of robbery with violence and were remanded until November 26 to allow police conclude investigation into the incident.

Lachola ward councillor Lawrence Lorunyei, chiefs Jeremiah Ekurao, Amojong Lothuru, Christopher Epul, and Ewoi Losike all denied the charges before principal magistrate Charles Ndegwa.

According to the prosecution led by Inspector John Mugo, the five faced 12 charges of robbery with violence after stealing 12 G3 rifles.

According to the prosecution, the suspects with others not before the court committed the offence at Suguta valley in Samburu on Saturday November 10 where police officers who were pursuing cattle rustlers were ambushed and killed.

The prosecution however pleaded with the court not to release the suspects terming the offence as serious, given the number of police officers who lost their lives during the incident.

He said that over 400 heads of cattle were stolen leading to a pursuit by the officers who lost their lives while trying to recover them.

Meanwhile, troops of the Kenya Defence Forces, Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU), Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) and several other units of security personnel started travelling to the volatile Baragoi area barely a day after President Mwai Kibaki's directive to pursue the killers and restore calm in the area.

The troops travelling in military trucks were spotted on the Nyahururu-Mararal road.

Area residents welcomed the move and urged the disarmament exercise to be extended in other neighbouring regions.

Laikipia Peace Caravan chairman Joseph Githinji said that the exercise should also be carried out in Baringo, Isiolo and Laikipia region to end rampant cases of cattle rustling.

"We thank the president for the directive and call upon the exercise to be carried out in all other areas where cases of cattle rustling are rampant. We want an end to this crime once and for all," he said.

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