Tension is high in Ol Moran in Laikipia County with villagers fleeing their homes following weekend attacks that saw armed bandits torch some 50 houses in Kisii Ndogo village.
The attack came barely a day after the National Security Advisory Council (Nsac) held a meeting to review the security situation and two days after Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya led top security officials from the region in meeting with locals at Ol Moran township.
During Nsac’s virtual meeting on Saturday, it was agreed that security agencies change tack in their approach to insecurity in the county.
Mr Natembeya, speaking while addressing villagers during the Friday meeting in Ol Moran, appealed to them to remain calm, saying the government was committed to protecting them and their properties. He said a “serious” operation would be launched to find those responsible for the attacks.
“We cannot allow criminals to continue terrorising innocent residents. We know their motive is to evict people from this area and the government will not allow this to happen,” he said. However, by Sunday morning, residents were still fleeing to churches and police stations.
“They stormed our homes on Saturday evening and started setting our houses on fire while demanding that we leave. I only managed to take with me my children and a few clothes,” said Ms Veronica Kwamboka.
Mr Aloise Tumbo, another villager, said the attackers set granaries ablaze.
He said over 150 families were living on the 100-acre parcel that they bought years ago through a cooperative society.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho described the killings as the breaking point of the government’s patience, while questioning the commitment of local leaders to peace efforts.
Dr Kibicho said the leaders have frustrated peace efforts and warned them of dire consequences.