Kenya: Bandits Torch School in Laikipia As Tension Builds

7 September 2021

Heavily armed bandits on Tuesday afternoon torched a school in Laikipia West as tension continued to build in the area that has been ravaged by insecurity.

In a brazen attack, the bandits torched Mirigwiti Primary School before engaging security officers in a brief gunfight before they fled.

The attack happened as Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya launched a security operation about four kilometres away in Ol Moran town.

The incident comes a day after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i announced a major security operation to flush out illegal occupants of bandit-prone areas in Laikipia County.

According to Rift Valley Regional Coordinator, Mirigwiti is among schools that were closed down due to the insecurity in Laikipia.

"There were no pupils in school as the school is among those that were recently shut down due to insecurity in the area," stated Mr Natembeya.

"We will be ruthless and we will flush out all the bandits from the region. We cannot tolerate this height of criminality," added the administrator who arrived in the area minutes after the bandits fled.

Sophisticated firearms

Mr Natembeya said that the bandits are using heavy and sophisticated firearms.

"While our officers are using AK-47 and G3 rifles, they are using M16 and other heavy rifles," he said, adding that the weapons are those used by soldiers from foreign countries who come to train in Kenya.

"We don't know how they get these heavy weapons, but it is an issue that needs a thorough investigation," said Mt Natembeya.

Meanwhile residents continued to flee the restive Ol Moran despite assurances from the government that their security is guaranteed.

On Monday, the government imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the restive areas of Laikipia Nature Conservancy and its environs. CS Matiang'i termed them disturbed areas.

In a statement issued on Monday, Dr Matiang'i said the directive affects parts of the expansive conservancy, which has been turned into a hideout for armed bandits.

The conservancy is owned by conservationist and author Kuki Gallmann.

Two weeks ago attackers also set ablaze an education centre belonging to the conservationist.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

X