Two killed in Isiolo banditry attack

Geoffrey Omoding

Isiolo County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding. He said police were pursuing bandits who shot dead two people in the county.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu I Natio Media Group

Two people were shot dead by bandits at Mlango in Burat ward, Isiolo North while on the way to Ngarendare market along the Isiolo-Samburu border.

The pair were riding on a motorcycle when the armed criminals suspected to be from a neighbouring county ambushed them and shot them dead before fleeing.

County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding said a manhunt for the criminals was on and warned of ruthless action against bandits who unleash terror on innocent citizens.

“We have beefed up security in the area and are pursuing the bandits whom we suspect came from the neighbouring county,” he said, adding that National Police Reservists were undertaking night patrols on the LMD-Oldonyiro stretch.

Mlango is among the hotspot areas in the region where the county commissioner has appealed for the establishment of a General Service Unit (GSU) camp.

Mr Omoding revealed that the State had provided the county with 200 additional National Police Reservists for deployment to hotspot areas and appealed for more to cover the vast county that occupies 25,336 square kilometres.

The administrator lamented that the lack of goodwill from leaders in a neighbouring constituency was frustrating the security organs’ efforts to tame banditry along the border of the two counties.

Also, he said, residents from one of the communities living within the border were harbouring and protecting criminals from one of the sides.

“We want to see the leaders from the neighbouring counties speaking against the attacks and not continuing silence,” he said.

He revealed plans to flush out illegal herders from neighbouring counties who have forcefully invaded the county in search of pastures and water.

“They must go back to their counties because we will not allow them to threaten peace in our county. It has rained in their counties and they should therefore graze there,” Mr Omoding said.

Earlier, Isiolo Deputy Speaker David Lemantile demanded that the illegal herders should be ejected as their presence in the county without clear agreement with the host communities could spark conflicts.

“Their motive is unknown. We must have clear rules on how resources will be shared so that they do not attack our people in the guise of grazing their animals,” Mr Lemantile said, adding that more than 2,000 cows had been driven into the area.

The herders, the Oldonyiro MCA said, must be investigated to establish if they were armed in efforts to ensure guaranteed safety for the residents.

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki recently announced plans by the government to establish buffer zones in Isiolo’s border points to avert the attacks.

Meanwhile, Mr Omoding revealed that three suspects were arrested in Isiolo over the killing of a senior chief in Laikipia.

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