Bandit attacks force hundreds to flee homes in Baringo

Hundreds of people have been forced to flee their homes as bandit attacks intensified in Baringo County over the last four days.

The residents, mostly women and children, from Sosionte, Chebinyiny, Arabal, Kasiela and Chemorong’ion have sought refuge at Nyimbei in Baringo South.

This came as bandits engaged security officers in a fierce exchange of fire at Chebinyiny on Tuesday as the situation got worse.

A team from Red Cross which was heading to the volatile Arabal area for a fact finding mission and to provide humanitarian aid was forced to cut short the journey as security in the area deteriorated.

A resident, William Kandie, said that they had stopped their daily activities because they fear of being attacked.

“We have been rendered paupers after all our livestock were stolen before. We had resorted to farming but the irrigation scheme at Embosos has now been destroyed by the bandits.

“We are now living in fear after the elapse of a two day ultimatum issued by some leaders from the neighbouring community to arrest the killers of two politicians who had been killed in Marigat on Saturday.

“We do not know what will befall us,” he said.

On Sunday, leaders from Tiaty, led by Baringo County Assembly Speaker William Kamket said that they were giving a two day ultimatum to the government to find out who killed Loyamorok

MCA Fredrick Kibet Cheretei and aspirant Simon Pepee or face unspecified action.

On a tour of Nyimbei on Tuesday, Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi condemned the rampant banditry attacks and called on the two warring Pokot and Tugen communities to co-exist peacefully.

“I am also appealing to leaders to avoid inciting utterances which can ignite animosities among the warring communities,” he said.

The Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Wanyama Musiambo also toured Marigat town on Tuesday and said that the proliferation of illegal firearms in the North Rift region was the main reason behind the banditry attacks.

“The government shall not condone a section of individual to take advantage of the situation. Security have reviewed and made a recommendation for the areas to be declared disturbed,” said Musiambo.

The administrator said the security team in the region had recommended to the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery to declare the volatile areas disturbed and insecure.

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