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Kenya security personnel curb cattle rustling in northwest region

by Robert Manyara BARINGO (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government on Friday announced a raft of security measures to deal with the cattle rustling menace that has left dozens dead in Kerio Valley in northwest region.

Among the measures announced by Deputy President William Ruto is the recruitment of police reservists, saying homegrown solutions remain key in the fight against cattle rustling.

"We are recruiting more police reservists who will be equipped with uniforms and arms like the rest of the security and will be paid to enable them be more effective in their work," said Ruto.

He said the government will also deploy rapid response teams, armored personnel carrier vehicles as well as increase the number of security officers in Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot Counties to stop cattle rustling and killings in the region.

Ruto also said there would be changes in the security teams in the area to help end the menace.

More than 10 people, including two politicians, were killed in the clashes in the Baringo County in the past two weeks.

Baringo County Commissioner Peter Okwanyo said the security teams deployed to the area have intensified operations to flush out the heavily armed raiders.

"The number of deaths reported in Baringo north and south are on the rise but police will not tire.

"We shall raid and flush out all bandits to bring normalcy back to Baringo," he said.

Learning has been paralyzed in several schools in the area as parents and their children have fled the area for fear of more revenge attacks.

Addressing local residents, Ruto said additional 220 police reservists would be recruited, provided with weapons and given tokens to boost their morale in fighting crime.

He said another team of 227 security officers comprising police, regular and Rapid Response Unit officers have been dispatched to the area to help contain insecurity in the area.

Ruto said cases of insecurity along the Kerio Valley would be solved with recruitment of more police reservists and recognition of their role in maintaining law and order at the grassroots level.

The deputy president said it was unfortunate that while the government is working hard to develop these areas that were previously marginalized, this outdated practice is eroding all the gains made.

He said the government would gazette all the dangerous and disturbed areas in the region to pave way for an operation to be carried out to flush out cattle rustlers and bandits.

"We are doing everything possible to contain this menace.

"We are declaring some of the areas in this region as dangerous and disturbed to pave way for an operation to flush out cattle rustlers in such areas," said Ruto.



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