The government has intensified security and imposed a dusk to dawn curfew to flush out bandits in the troubled Olmoran and Laikipia Nature Conservancy.
Addressing the media at his Nanyuki town office, Laikipia County Commissioner Daniel Nyameti said the government is concerned over escalating insecurity.
“We are working extra hard to ensure farmers return to their homes and continue with their normal lives,” Nyameti said adding security agencies are acting on intelligence reports received from locals.
This came as hundreds of residents continue to flee their homes for safety due to an increased series of attacks. The administrator said they are also working to establish who is supplying the bandits with weapons.
“It seems the bandits are properly armed and have a steady supply of firearms something which we are yet to establish where they are getting them from. In a homestead they attack, at times we find they have spent more than 30 rounds of ammunition from the number of spent cartridges which we collected,” Nyameti said.
He said bandits have found a hideout in the Laikipia Nature Conservancy due to the fact that the ranch has no fence hence making it easy for them to access.
“Bandits inside the Laikipia Nature conservancy are causing havoc in Olmoran, parts of Kinamba location, Matwiku and Ndidika areas,” Nyameti said.
He said security agencies have established that the bandits are causing havoc with the intention of making residents flee their farms so that they get grazing fields and added the bandits claim that farms in Olmoran area belong to their ancestors hence the bid to repossess them by force.
“From the intelligence, we have gathered that they have entered into an agreement (bandits) to cause chaos to locals doing farming so that they can have a leeway on grazing in people’s farms,” the administrator revealed.
Nyameti further said that bandits in Laikipia West were a spill over after government security crackdown in Kapedo area of Baringo County.
“This groups (bandits) comprises Pokot and some Samburu who sought refuge in Laikipia Nature conservancy after the crackdown to restore peace in Kapedo. Laikipia was also affected,” Nyameti said.
The County Commissioner said inaccessible roads have also hampered security operations, making it hard for security personnel to pursue bandits.
In the last one month, several people have been killed, over 40 families fled their homes for fear of escalating crises, others have been left nursing gunshot injuries and an unknown number of heads of cattle stolen. A Sunday night incident saw one person killed at Mirigwit village in Laikipia West.
On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared Laikipia Nature Conservancy and its environs as security disturbed areas therefore security operation zone.
All leaders including politicians, businessmen, public officers and others who had illegally moved their livestock into the conflict zone were ordered to remove the same within 48 hours starting yesterday.
The President chaired the National Security Council (NSC) meeting to address the security situation in Laikipia Nature Conservancy which has been the hideout of armed bandits who have perpetrated bloody incidents in the region.
Last week, Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi issued a stern warning to the bandits terrorising residents that their days are numbered.
“If you have a gun and you are not a police officer, we will shoot you dead and then case later,” Muriithi warned.
By Muturi Mwangi