Dare you! Cops warn leaders over Kapedo

Police have warned politicians against fuelling violence in Turkana East and Tiaty constituencies.National Police Spokesman Charles Owino says they have received information that some individuals were mobilising youths in preparation for a clash.

He warned politicians from the two rival communities  mobilising their supporters for ethnic cleansing in Kapedo area that they will face the full force of the law.

“We have received information of ongoing ground mobilisation of youths from Turkana East and Tiaty constituencies to stage attacks against each other,” he said. The warning comes amid reports of acquisition of illegal firearm stockpiles by the two rival communities.

“We wish to alert the public that we have received information that certain individuals in Turkana and Tiaty constituencies respectively are mobilising youths in preparation for a clash. This is against the  law and it can  lead to unnecessary loss of lives,” said Owino.

Although Owino said all security agencies in the area have been ordered to set up their vigilance and deal firmly with any lawbreakers, locals, mostly women and children  have started fleeing their homes for fear of full-blown attacks.

Police sources indicate political leaders are fanning violence that could potentially have spillover effects in neighbouring regions. Tension is high and the rough terrain has been cited as an obstacle for swift police response.

Early this week, a police reservist Samuel Koit was shot dead at Lokori within Kapedo by suspected Pokot raiders and his AK-47 stolen. Another civilian, Samwel Epuu was also killed during the attack.

Four mourners were also injured in an ambush staged against a funeral convoy to bury three people killed in Kapedo. The three including a police reservist were killed  and several others injured in what authorities say was a retaliatory attack.

Three years ago, the government issued a two-day ultimatum against bandits to surrender all illegal firearms and stolen livestock in the area.

Around the same time, over 50 people were massacred in Nadome village in retaliatory attack.  In 2012, 42 police officers were massacred in Suguta valley during a botched security operation to recover stolen cattle.

In a synonymous ambush attack by bandits, 21 officers were slaughtered and their vehicle burnt down in Kapedo where Kenya Defence Forces are currently undertaking mop up exercise of illicit weapons in civilians’ hands.

At least 19 Administration Police officers and three civilians were killed at Suguta Valley by bandits who made away with more than 2,000 bullets, resulting in a joint operation by the military and the police in the area.

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