18 March 2014

Kenya: GSU Officers Deployed to Pokot, Turkana Border

Photo: Siegfried Modola/IRIN
Security personnel on patrol on the southeastern side of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya (file photo).

GSU personnel have been deployed along the Turkana, Pokot border where tensions are high following the killing of four people by bandits during a raid at Kakong village in Turkana South.

Turkana South Police boss Kipsang Changach says police have so far recovered some of the 500 heads of cattle stolen during the raid. Villagers have also fled from some of the affected areas. Four people injured in then raid are still admitted at the Lodwar district hospital.

"We are still pursuing the raiders so that we arrest them and also get back all the stolen animals," said Changach who was speaking to the Star on phone yesterday. Four villagers were killed in attack by heavily armed bandits who raided Kakong area in Turkana South.

The bandits shot and injured one police reservist and three other people. The injured were taken to Lodwar District Hospital. The bandits are suspected to have crossed from Pokot North and struck the village where they stole hundreds of cattle and shot indiscriminately at residents.

The reservist was among security officers who had responded to distress calls during the raid but he was shot in the hand and his gun stolen. Changach is still leading a security team to the area where there has been heavy gunfire as the raiders were confronted by local herdsmen.

Contingents of both regular and administration police along with the officers from the anti-stock theft units were yesterday still carrying out operations to recover the animals stolen in the raid. Governor for Turkana Josphat Nanok says frequent raids and dispute between West Pokot and Turkana counties will be resolved through dialogue to be initiated by leaders from both regions.

Nanok and Governor Simon Kachapin (West Pokot) have agreed to initiate dialogue on the boundary dispute between the two communities. The feuds have sparked chaos between the two and led to loss of lives.

Nanok says they will also involve elders in the negotiations to end the border dispute. The elders from the two communities have already signed a peace agreement to deal with the cattle rustling problem.

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