Renewed clashes cause tension in troubled Kerio Valley

Tension is high along the Marakwet/Pokot boarder following renewed clashes between two communities.

Recent banditry attacks in the troubled Kerio valley have left Chesegon villagers in fear.

This follows the shooting down on Friday of five suspected bandits in two separate attacks at Chesegon and Kapkobil villages along the border.

Marakwet East Assistant deputy county commissioner Mr. Wilson Tangus said three herders and one suspected cattle rustler were killed after bandits’ raided West Pokot stealing unknown number of cattle amid an exchange of fire.

Tangus said herders from Pokot community pursued the rustlers to recover the stolen livestock without success only to be ambushed again in the evening at Kapkobil near Tot trading centre but this time managed to kill one of the suspected bandits.

A villager, Mr. Wilson Kiptoo told the press on Monday residents were sleeping in the bush in the Kerio valley as they feared retaliatory attacks even with armed Kenya Police Reservists patrolling the area.

He said the residents were tense and living in fear as they were still searching for the body of one of the cattle rustling victims who was killed on Friday.

Elgeyo Marakwet leaders and security officers visited the valley yesterday and held a series of peace meetings calling for calm between the two communities.

Among the leaders was Deputy Governor Wesley Rotich, County Women Rep Ms. Jane Kiptoo, County Executives Kiprono Chepkok, (Health) Edwin Kisang (Education), County Secretary Paul Chemutut and Endo Ward MCA Joseph Lochaa.

The deputy governor called on the two communities to embrace dialogue appealing to the Pokot neighbours to release the missing body saying revenge and violence will not help but only lead to loss of lives and compromising development.

He urged leaders across the region to avoid inflammatory statements for the sake of peace. He said such statements will only fuel conflict between communities.

The County Police Commander for Elgeyo-Marakwet Tom Odera said police were still looking for the missing body.

Source: Kenya News Agency