Five police reservists killed, livestock stolen in Baringo bandit attack

Pokot residents armed with sticks, swords and arrows herding their livestock at Paka hills in Tiaty Sub-County in Baringo on January 31./JOSEPH KANGOGO

Five National Police Reservists were killed and an unknown number of livestock stolen after suspected Pokot bandits attacked Arabal in Baringo South on Thursday morning.

Baringo County Police Commander Robinson Ndiwa said the incident occurred when the brazen bandits raided two Tugen manyattas at 3am. The reservists were killed at the scene.

“We have already deployed GSU, RDU and NPR officers to pursue the aggressors who have driven away the animals towards Chepkalacha in Tiaty East,” Ndiwa said.

The police boss said tension is high in the area and urged residents to stay calm.

“This took people by surprise because the place was peaceful. Nobody expected an attack even the relaxed herders had left their animals to graze freely,” Ndiwa said.

However, Marigat-based human rights activist Amos Ol’empaka asked the government to urgently deploy a surveillance helicopter to pursue the bandits with the stolen livestock.

He said they could still be hiding in the bushes within the area.

“More lives could be saved and the livestock maybe recovered if swift action shall be taken,” Ol’empaka said.

Baringo South MP Charles Kamuren has asked security officers to move fast and restore peace and calm.

He told residents to be cautious because the direction in which the attackers went is not clear.

In September last year, two NPR and RDU officers were injured in an ambush by the suspected armed pokot bandits at Ramacha village in the same sub-county.

They were accompanying the Tugen and Ilchamus residents’ in a bush clearing drive to resettle thousands of their members who had been displaced by bandits during an attack in 2005.

“The officers were conducting normal border patrols when the armed bandits laid ambush and shot in the air around 2pm,” Arabal location chief William Koech said.


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