2,000 flee after 70 houses burned in Pokot-Elgeyo bandit attack

More than 2,000 people fled their homes on the West Pokot-Elgeyo Marakwet border after bandits burned at least 70 houses.

The houses were torched in a retaliatory attack on Friday, Pokot South deputy commissioner Hezron Nyamberi reporting that tension was high.

Nyamberi said that at about 5am yesterday, bandits stormed in, injured four people and stole an unknown number of livestock.

“A teacher was shot in the leg. He was taken to Kapenguria referral hospital,” he said

The administrator reported that at about 7am that day, another group retaliated by burning the houses.

“Police repulsed the bandits who had already burned between 50 to 70 houses as owners fled without securing anything.” Affected areas include Ptsonu, Kapusheni, Serena and Kamelei from where people to Tapach ward.

Kapushen, Kamelei, Ptsonu, Sopowen, Tarak, Tapach, Pialang and Kamonges primary schools were closed as a result. Parents also took their children out of Kamelei and Tapach secondary schools.

Nyamberi said on Saturday that attacks had been frequent but that police officers were deployed to the border to restore calm.

“Women and children are most affected but we have deployed enough security personnel to patrol the area day and night,” he said.

“We have talked to peace committees and a number of livestock have been recovered. By Tuesday, I assure, residents will be back in their homes after a peace meeting on Monday.”

He added the government will supply relief food while Red Cross helps to assess the damage.

Noting politics had been a big obstacle in the fight against bandit attacks, the deputy commissioner warned leaders against inciting residents.

He urged the government to establish an anti-stock theft unit along the border to beef up security as bandits hide in the forest in the area.

Author: STN News

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