Police recovers over 700 animals from bandit prone areas

A section of head of cattle which were recovered by police at Ole Naishu ranch in Laikipia County on January 9, 2018.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

The Ministry of Interior has recovered over 700 animals from bandit-prone areas.

These counties are Turkana, Isiolo, West Pokot, Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Laikipia, and Baringo.

Law enforcement officials were able to retrieve 500 goats, 70 heads of cattle and 200 camels that had been taken from the aforementioned locations by suspected bandits- thanks to  police interventions, which are a part of the larger Operation Komesha Uhalifu.

A bandit was fatally injured in Turkana, according to the police, but the animals have now been returned to their owners.

In an effort to combat the banditry threat that has claimed many lives, President William Ruto authorised Rift Valley Regional Commissioner, Mohammed Maalim, to send more troops to support reservists' operations in the afflicted areas. This was effected just a week later.

Because they are familiar with the terrain and hiding places used by bandits and cattle rustlers to launch attacks and thwart security operations, the reservists, who are typically drawn from local communities, are regarded as an effective bulwark against these criminals, according to a statement from Interior ministry.

The President also warned the leaders and financiers of the syndicates that steal livestock, declaring that the government was committed to prosecuting those responsible for the vice's hundreds of fatalities and thousands of evictions.

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki met with security chiefs in the affected areas recently in an effort to enforce President Ruto's mandate, which also raised concerns about the rising quantity of illegal firearms in the area.

"The latest records from the National Police Service reveal that late last month, a multi-agency team acting on a tip off recovered 24 stolen goats and an AK-47 gun from a suspected homestead in Turkana County.  Another 34 goats that had been stolen in Lokwall village in the same county by bandits suspected to have crossed over from West Pokot County were also recovered last week," said the ministry. 

"On Monday, the same security team recovered 70 cattle and 150 goats after a confrontation with a group of armed attackers that left at least one suspected bandit dead. The largest recovery has however been in Isiolo county where 200 camels and 300 goats that had been stolen were recovered and handed back to the owners."

The ministry has urged the public to provide any information to the law enforcement agency that could result in the capture of additional suspected bandits.