Kenya: Herdsman Killed By Suspected Bandits in Isiolo

19 January 2021

Tension is high in Gubatu village in Garbatulla, Isiolo County following the killing of a herdsman in an attack by suspected bandits from neighbouring Garissa County.

The 16 armed men shot the 25-year-old man dead around 6pm on Monday, near a grazing field about 20km from Garbatulla town. The attack scared away three others who sought reinforcement from local residents.

A fire exchange ensued between the two communities for close to an hour before the bandits were overpowered and fled, leaving behind the livestock they had stolen from the herders.

Garbatulla Deputy County Commissioner Stephen Nyakundi said police officers were immediately dispatched to restore calm.

He said one of the herders has since gone missing and that a search is ongoing.

The attack comes barely two weeks after six people were killed and a woman seriously injured in two attacks in five days at Urura in Merti by bandits said to be from Wajir County.

Learning is yet to resume in two primary schools in the county due to insecurity, which has claimed more than 20 lives in the last two months in the county.

Three counties

The attacks pitting communities living near Isiolo's border with Garissa and Wajir have seen locals deserting their homes to flee for safety.

Mr Nyakundi said the government has deployed police officers to insecurity-prone and hotspot areas.

He said a contingency of Rapid Deployment Unit officers was last week deployed to Eldera near the Isiolo-Garissa border to beef up security and that more officers will in the course of this week be deployed to Escort to serve Korbesa, where learning has stalled.

He appealed to Isiolo leaders to engage their Garissa and Wajir colleagues to end the long-standing enmity that has threatened peace and development in the region.

"Let them preach and foster peace between the communities and find lasting solution to the fights so that residents from the three counties can peacefully coexist," he said.

Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti recently said that more than 40 people have been killed in the last two months in Belgesh, Eldera, Kinna, Rapsu, Korbesa and Escort. He also accused security organs of failing to prevent violence despite knowing the conflict hotspot areas.

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