Bandits kill senior police officer in Baringo

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Maalim Mohamed baringo bandits

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Maalim Mohamed (in brown) during deployment of 80 National Police Reservists for Baringo South and Baringo North Sub-Counties on March 8, 2022. 

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

A senior police officer has been shot dead while another one is nursing gunshot wounds in a daring banditry attack in Kapkechir, Baringo South.

The Friday afternoon incident happened when the officers attached to the General Service Unit (GSU) based in Lamaiywe were carrying out their routine patrols in the volatile border.

The officers were ambushed by armed attackers suspected to be from the neighbouring Tiaty Sub-County. Hundreds of illegal herders from the Pokot community have moved into the area with their livestock.   

The spate of attacks that has claimed more than 10 lives in the area since the beginning of the year has forced residents out of their homes, with the deserted villages now turning hideouts for the criminals.

The killing brings to 23, the number of people killed by bandits in the insecurity-prone areas since January. To tame the rampant attacks and flush out bandits, the government deployed two platoons of GSU officers at Lamaiywe last month.  

Korkoron Hills

“It is unfortunate that our officers who were on a normal patrol were ambushed at Kapkechir, near the dreaded Korkoron Hills. One of them lost his life while being attended to at Nyahururu County Referral Hospital while another one is recuperating at Mediheal Hospital in Nakuru County,” said Baringo County Police Commander Adamson Bungei.

He, however, insisted that the attack will not stop them from flushing out the armed criminals who are terrorising locals.

“We will smoke them out of their hideouts, we will not be cowed by few individuals unleashing terror on locals,” said Mr Bungei.

He said the body of the officer will be moved to Nairobi.

The incident happened barely two days after Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Mohamed Maalim issued a shoot-to-kill order to armed criminals in the troubled counties in the North Rift region.

During a tour of Baringo South on Tuesday, he said the government had enlisted more than 80 police reservists in the insecurity-prone Baringo North and south sub-counties.

He also indicated that three Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) vehicles had been dispatched to the border areas in Baringo South.

Rugged terrain

"We have heard of the infamous Korkoron Hills where bandits hide, steal and kill locals at will. We have re-deployed more than 80 NPR's who are conversant with the rugged terrain. We want to see changes in the war-torn area and we want the bandits, dead or alive, with their livestock as well," said Mr Maalim on Tuesday.

 The Rift Valley boss also toured the porous villages in Kasiela, Sinoni and Lamaiywe to assess the security situation.

Thousands of people fled the border villages like Kitorongon, Menmeno, Seretion, Chepng'anian, Kapsikwon, Lomulel and Korkoron, Kapkechir, Tuiyotich and Korkoron due to incessant attacks.  

The recent exodus happened on Friday and Saturday last week after the killing of five people at Riverside and Sinoni villages.  There is tension in the area following the attack