Tension high in West Pokot as bandits steal hundreds of cattle in fresh raid
- The livestock had allegedly moved to graze at Kadeng’oi, Kaakong and Kainuk areas in the neighboring Turkana following the prolonged drought.
- Leaders from West Pokot County have condemned the incident, calling on the government to return the more than 2000 stolen livestock.
Tension remains high along the West Pokot and Turkana counties border after hundreds of livestock from Masol area were on Saturday stolen by suspected bandits from the neighboring community.
The livestock had allegedly moved to graze at Kadeng’oi, Kaakong and Kainuk areas in the neighboring Turkana following prolonged drought.
Suspected bandits are said to have taken the stolen cattle to Kalemngrock.
Cattle raids and retaliatory attacks continue to persist despite presence of the Kenya Police Service and Kenya Defense Force who are undertaking a joint security operation in the troubled Kerio Valley region.
Leaders from West Pokot County have condemned the incident, calling on the government to return the more than 2000 stolen livestock.
“The government has failed to protect us and our property. The bandits have taken advantage of the presence of the security operation in the area to steal our cattle,” said a reformed bandit Abraham Domungura.
Domungura noted that the security team cannot distinguish the bandits from herders.
“Our livestock go to Turkana only for pasture and come back for water here, and nothing else,” he added.
The leaders spoke at Kapchila Village when they visited the family of Angela Litole, a daughter to the late Sigor MP Wilson Litole, who died in the United States of America.
They cautioned the security team in the area to be vigilant and alert.
“The team undertaking the operation should tell us where the animals are. They have not yet returned the animals. We have been victimized to be the aggressors for a long time and today the truth has come out,” said Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong.
Lochakapong urged leaders in the region to shun incitement.
“All those inciting people should record statements. We accepted the security operation and we don’t want selective disarmament. Residents are suffering due to hunger and drought,” he said.
West Pokot Senator Julius Murgor said the security team should end banditry and cattle rustling in the area.
“We need peace in the region. No one is better or worse than the Pokots and Turkanas. The war between the two communities has been fought for decades,” he added.
For the last one month, hundreds of livestock have been stolen from Ombolion, Sarimach, Cheprochpohog, Turkwel, Takaywa, Kases, Masol, and Lami Nyeusi areas along the West Pokot and Turkana counties border by suspected bandits.
Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto wondered why banditry and cattle rustling were still taking place yet the operation was taking place in the area.
“Some leaders are playing politics with insecurity. We have witnessed peace for four years now,” he said.
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