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Gov’t keen to address insecurity in Meru-Isiolo border

The national government is set to increase the number of police officers in police stations near Isiolo and Meru County border as a way of enhancing security in the region.

Announcing the move, Eastern Regional Commissioner Evans Achoki said plans were also underway to ensure police vehicles were available at the stations for swift response to emergencies.

Achoki announced this after meeting a section of leaders from Meru County including Governor Kiraitu Murungi, Tigania East MP Gichunge Kabeabea, and his Buuri counterpart Mugambi Rindikiiri.

The regional commissioner added that Kenya police reservists will also be reinstated in Meru County in the next 14 days in order to boost the existing police and other administrators in enhancing security in the volatile areas along the Northern grazing area corridor.

This comes after several incidents of banditry attacks which have claimed at least 12 people and several others left with serious injuries this year alone.

The recent incident took place on Sunday night when two police officers were ambushed by bandits as they were driving back stolen cattle to Meru.

One of the police officers succumbed to bullet wounds while the other one is nursing serious injuries at Meru Teaching and Referral hospital.

“We will be meeting chiefs and other security teams from Isiolo and Meru Counties to see how we will have a lasting solution to the perennial issue of insecurity between the herders from Isiolo and farmers from Meru County,” said Achoki.

Earlier on, during the burial of seven people who were killed by herders believed to have come from Isiolo, Meru County Governor Kiraitu Murungi banned the entrance of camels and other animals from the neighbouring Counties into Meru adding that this was the main source of conflict.

The Meru County assembly also later passed a law to this effect. “Even with all these in place, herders from other counties are still bringing in their animals to our county, and chiefs and police officers are not doing anything to prevent this,” said Mr Murungi.

He also asked the regional commissioner to make a follow-up and ensure more police officers, as well as Chiefs and their Assistants, were posted to these areas to reduce the suffering of the residents.

Achoki on the other hand called on farmers from the Meru side not to kill camels and other animals when they get into their farms but instead take them to police stations where follow-ups and possible prosecution of owners will commence.

He also promised to continue working with all the leaders to ensure an end to the existing animosity between herders and farmers from the two counties.

“We will also take stern action against any person inciting or perpetuating crimes including those charged with the responsibility of enhancing security as well as politicians,” said Achoki.

Mr Kabeabea and Rindikiiri on their part promised to support the security officers in ensuring security was restored in the area adding that they were not ready to bury more residents as a result of banditry attacks.

By Dickson Mwiti

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