Ex-police officer killed in latest bandits attack in Samburu

Security troops readying for an operation to flush out armed bandits from Malaso escarpments in Samburu. 


A retired police officer was on Sunday killed by armed bandits in the Loosuk area of Samburu West amid a deadly wave of insecurity in the troubled region.

The ex-officer, Aroi Lekopore, 63, was tending to his livestock when the bandits ransacked the village and drove off with 50 goats and six cows.

Following the incident, tensions have risen in various parts of Samburu West, with some locals fleeing in fear for their lives.

Samburu Central Sub County Police Commander John Mwai, who confirmed the incident, said reservists responded and rescued the victim's animals from the hands of the bandits.

"The bandits descended on the village on Sunday. They fatally shot the ex-officer before chasing away his animals, but the police reservists recovered all the animals but we lost the retired officer," he said.

The incident came just hours after another local herder was killed in the Lolmolog area.

The victim was shot dead in the Lolmolog area in the late hours of Saturday, sending shockwaves through the village, which was still reeling from the loss of two locals; a father and his son, who were killed last week.

In a separate attack, two locals sustained serious gunshot wounds after being attacked in Soit Pus, Samburu North.

The bodies of the victims are at the Samburu County Referral Hospital mortuary awaiting post-mortem examination.

Mr Mwai said police were pursuing suspects who fled after the incident and had beefed up security in the troubled area.

"Police officers are on the ground to calm the situation," he added.

Local leaders have condemned the escalating bandit attacks and called on the government to urgently address the growing insecurity plaguing the region.

The leaders said the rising tide of banditry had not only disrupted daily life but also severely affected the livelihoods of nomadic pastoralists in Samburu North and Samburu West.

They expressed deep concern about the deteriorating security situation, with more than 12 people killed since the beginning of the year. 

Samburu West residents recently petitioned the Inspector General of Police to intervene in the incessant cases of insecurity in Ltungai-Malaso Community Conservancy in Samburu West.

In the petition seen by Nation.Africa, the members want IG Japheth Koome to explain why the security apparatus has failed to curb the spate of bandit attacks and illegal occupation of the community conservancy in Samburu West. 

The petition, signed by members of the Ltungai-Malaso Conservancy, wants Mr Koome to deploy and beef up security in the Ltungai Wildlife Conservancy to facilitate the immediate eviction of heavily armed groups occupying the conservancies.

In November last year, residents of Samburu West also petitioned the Senate to intervene in the rampant banditry in the region.