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Government gives herders 48 hours to vacate Mukogodo forest

The government has issued a 48 hours ultimatum for herders to vacate Mukogondo forest in Laikipia or risk being forcefully evicted.

Laikipia county commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said it was a continued operation to flush out bandits in the densely populated forest and restore peace in the area.

“We are prepared to tackle insecurity issues in those areas. Responsible people should move out within 48 hours without waiting for us,” warned Kanyiri.

Kanyiri said through a gazette notice in the ongoing security operations in Turkana, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and Samburu that further, the government declared Mukogondo forest in Laikipia as disturbed and dangerous zones affected by insecurity.

“Mukogondo forest in the past three months is a gazatted disturbed area and this means whoever is in that area by now should be out. However, there are few who are reluctant and have further gone ahead to build cattle sheds,” revealed Kanyiri, adding that the forest had become escape haven for bandits after committing crimes in Laikipia North Sub County.

Kanyiri further ordered Ewaso and Tenki livestock market to be closed immediately since it had led to an upsurge of selling stolen cattle.

The county commissioner urged those still in possession of firearms illegally to surrender them voluntarily without waiting for authorities to disarm them.

The administrator also cautioned against logging of indigenous trees in Mukogodo forest revealing people were coming from as far as Samburu East to destroy forest by cutting down posts for sale amid government effort to achieve 30 percent forest cover by year 2032.

Meanwhile, local leaders led by Laikipia women representative Jane Kagiri have appealed for additional National Police Reservists (NPRs) from the current 360 to 800.

Speaking in Laikipia on Thursday during the official launch of De-Risking, Inclusion and Value Enhancement for Rural Economies in the Horn of Africa (DRIVE) project, local leaders appealed for additional National Police Reservists to boost in fight against banditry in the county.

By Muturi Mwangi

 

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