by Chris Mgidu and
Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday announced deployment
of the military to four counties that are reeling from banditry,
inter-tribal skirmishes and invasion of private ranches.
Kenyatta said the Kenya Defense Forces would complement regular
police and reservists in Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot
and Laikipia to combat a wave of insecurity there.
He said the deployment would also aid disarmament and
surrender of firearms illegally held by civilians in the
The military deployment followed weeks of inter-communal
clashes, cattle rustling and invasion of private ranches that
led to loss of lives and massive destruction of property.
Eleven people died early this week during retaliatory attacks
staged by rival nomadic communities in Baringo and West Pokot
Insecurity in Kenya’s northern frontier districts worsened
early this year amid biting drought that fuelled inter-tribal
clashes over water and pasture.
While cattle rustling and retaliatory attacks featured
prominently in Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet and Laikipia
experienced a wave of illegal invasion of private ranches by
Tristan Voorspuy, a British co-owner of Sosio ranch in
Laikipia, was on March 5 killed by invading raiders who were in
search for water and pasture.
Kenyatta in his state of the nation address on Wednesday
reaffirmed his government’s commitment to enhance security and
peaceful co-existence in the arid northern counties.
"We have agreed today that the military will join hands with
the police to enhance rapid response to insecurity and unrest in
the northern counties," said Kenyatta, adding that individuals
who incite communities to take up arms will be punished.