Pokot herders allowed to graze in Baringo North after peace talks

Pokot herders have been allowed to graze their cattle at Loruk, the border of Baringo North and Tiaty Sub-counties, following a peace meeting on Thursday.

The Pokots had been evicted and barred from grazing their more than 10,000 livestock in Arabal and Mukutani in Baringo South sub-county.

Baringo county commissioner Peter Okwanyo said they can do so until September 25.

Okwanyo warned herders against carrying illegal firearms saying they will face the full force of the law.

“You only asked for pasture to graze your animals so anyone holding a gun should surrender it to police so people can live in peace.”

At the peace meeting, Pokot herders accused security officers of using excessive force against them.

They reported that their houses have been torched and their animals killed.

One added: “It recently rained in Tiaty after a long drought since July last year. We are only requesting to graze our animals then we go back home.”

Read: Police using excessive force, burning houses in Baringo – residents

Also read: Pokot bandits steal goats, cows, disrupt learning

But Tugen residents said the decision may work against them.

“We thought the government was helping push Pokot aggressors far into their Tiaty home. How could they be allowed to graze along the disputed borders of Loruk in Baringo North?” asked Tugen resident Richard Chepchomei.

Chiefs and elders from the two communities attended the peace meeting.

Loruk sub-location assistant chief Samuel Kamuren welcomed the talks saying he had a list of 30 herders allowed to graze their animals in the two areas.

“I believe this will reunite and rekindle peace between us (Tugens) and Pokots, after a long tussle over livestock theft and the killing of innocent people.”

Kamuren confirmed that more than 2,000 Tugen victims of bandit have returned to their homes from Moinonin.

Situated some 40 kms North of Marigat town in Baringo South, Loruk is inhabited by the Tugen pastoral community .

Many of them are living in fear because of persistent attacks by armed bandits.

Bandits believed to be from the Pokot community have stolen animals and killed people, forcing interventions by the government.

In March, President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto declared parts of Baringo, Laikipia and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties ‘disturbed’ areas.

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