More than 80 households from Mukutani ward in Baringo South Sub County are camping at the various security camps in the area following a banditry attack where one person was killed and two others hospitalized.
According to the area chief, Benjamin Lecher tension is high after suspected Pokot bandits attacked a family Thursday afternoon as they were preparing to find a safe place to spend the night due to insecurity challenges in the area.
Lecher said that the affected residents were now seeking refuge at four camps belonging to Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU), Army, Police and Anti stock theft Unit (ATSU) deployed in the area to offer security.
“The area residents did not even sleep at their homes, they have moved to safer places after the incident where they can get protection from security personnel,” he said.
The administrator further asserts that had it not been for the armored Police Vehicle which repulsed the attackers, there would have been a massacre as the bandits would have had an easy day.
Jackline Lekidogo, one of the victims who spoke to the press on Friday at Baringo County referral hospital narrated that she had finished preparing evening meals when her four children alerted her about the armed bandits who were approaching the homestead.
Lekidogo while explaining through pain said she told the children to run for their lives but one was immediately shot at before he went far.
“We locked ourselves in the house but they kicked it open and sprayed my neighbor who had visited me with bullets, after ensuring he was dead, they shot me on the face and chest and left,” she narrated the ordeal.
She stated that when the police tried to evacuate them using an armored vehicle, the man was already lying in a pool of blood dead while her six year old child was crying out for help after being shot in the abdomen.
Baringo police commander Robinson Ndiwa while confirming the incident said that security officers have been dispatched to the volatile area to comb and nap the criminals.
Ndiwa regretted that the incident was happening in the wake of a security meeting at a Lake Bogoria resort where local leaders had agreed on scaling down security operations for them to devise other mechanisms of bringing lasting peace in the area.
He warned that should such incidents continue in the area, they will heighten the operation and this time round they will not tolerate the bandits and their leaders.
He also called on the residents to be calm promising to ensure they are safe and that the perpetrators are charged with murder.
The area experienced a ruthless attack in 2016 when the bandits killed nine people in the centre forcing over 1000 households to flee to camps in Marigat and Eldume.
The motive of the attack is believed to be boundary as the attackers did not steal livestock as is the case.
The residents were resettled back to Mukutani, Arabal and Rukus in 2018 by the national government in a collaboration with the County Government.
By Benson Kelio and Christopher Kiprop