Another child killed by bandits in Chesegon, West Pokot

A 12 year-old pupil was shot dead in in a Friday morning attack by suspected bandits at Cheptet village in West Pokot.

The bandits who are believed to be from Kaben Location in Marakwet East ambushed Ruto Ng’orianya and killed at 6 am when he went for a short call near Cheputel boys high school.

This comes hours after bandits gunned down a grade 6 pupil at Chesegon area in West Pokot County on Thursday evening.

Tension remained high along the West Pokot -Elgeyo Marakwet border.

Confirming the incident West Pokot county commissioner Apollo Okello said the bandits seem to be on a retaliatory attack after a raid was conducted in Baringo County last week.

He added that the bandits have decided to take revenge on the West Pokot county side as tension continues to grip in the area.

“Yesterday there was a similar attack in the same village where a pokot boy namely Regan Kaywa 15years was also killed.” He said.

He noted that the bandits may be revenging last week’s incident by bandits from Baringo Tiaty who had killed a man from their community.

“Anti-stock theft police officers have launched a man hunt for the bandits who dashed in the thickest after the attack,” he said.

A local Melmoh Omidoh told the Nation that the boy was killed when his parents were in the house by criminals who had hidden in the bush in their home.

“We have got the ammunition that killed him as a G3 that belongs to the Government,” he said.

Fresh attacks have resurfaced in the area despite the ongoing security operation in the area.

Area leaders now want the Government to walk the talk.

Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong now wants the government to withdraw all the guns given to National police reservists in Elgeyo Marakwet County and arm all the communities in the region.

“It is now clear that the Government has failed to protect its people. Let the Government come out clear so that we can protect ourselves. It is bad to arm one community and leave out their neighbors,’ he said.

Nominated member of County assembly Marishana Cheruto accused security officers for failing to nab perpetrators of crime along the border of the neighboring counties.

“The Chesegon peace accord has not been honored .They should implement Matiang’i orders of Tot 2021 in Kerio valley, the special District Commissioner for Kerio valley that has never stepped in the area. We need justice in West Pokot for people who have been killed by bandit’s .We want our stolen cattle returned,” said Cheruto

Cheruto called on the Government to beef up security in schools.

“We have entered into a new year with tragedies .We as mothers are devastated and feel pain for losing our children every month .We need a police post at Chesegon,Sewer ,Sabulmoi and Seketow. If it is hard we better move away and become refugees. Prof Kindiki you promised beef security. In Marakwet there is a police post in Liter and armored vehicles but not in West Pokot ,” she said.

She called for unity among elected leaders in the region.

“We are like sheep with no herder .Area Mps should go to parliament and present our grievances and if the Government will not take action we shall know,” she said.

She castigated the Government over conflict provoking the two communities to fight and insecurity to escalate.

“Kindiki was digging a serious trench of insecurity in Kerio Valley. We need the Government to be neutral. There is no military camp in West Pokot. We need one. The military camps have been put in Turkana and Baringo Counties,” she said.

Ms Cheruto said that it was wrong for Anglican church of Kenya arch Bishop Jackson Ole Sapit to give Pokots as Bandits.

“We need Ole Sapit to apologize. We have no bandits association as Pokot. We need religious leaders to initiate development in the area. Everywhere you pass you are pinpointed that we are bandits,” she said.

Professionals from the area have faulted the interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki for taking sides in the security issues.

“He has refused to meet with Pokot leaders as has been done by leaders from other communities. He has visited all Counties affected by insecurity apart from West Pokot. He has armed all communities apart from the Pokot community.

“The security team killed our livestock at Kainuk. More than 2000 cattle were stolen from the Masol area. The military officers are used to protect criminals,” said Dennis Kapchok, the Secretary General of the Pokot professionals.

According to the experts, the Government has failed to contain the security lapse in the troubled Kerio valley region.

Schools in the area that have been affected by insecurity include Chesegon ,Cheptulel, Arpollo, Sabulmoi, Cheratat, Tilakai, Chemalei Primary schools and Cheptulel Boys, Sarimach, and Cheptulel Girls.

The professionals faulted the Government over being biased in deploying security officers and arming the National police reservists [NPR] handling security issues along the neighboring counties in the region.

They accused security organs of laxity and not ending the escalating killings and arresting culprits wreaking havoc along the border of the two counties.

“We condemn in the strongest terms possible senseless killings of innocent people,” Mr Kapchok who condemned the killings argues that the government has deployed more security officers in Elgeyo Marakwet County sidelining West Pokot County.

Fresh attacks have more than 50 people dead and hundreds of livestock stolen, many families displaced in Kerio Valley since the year began. This has derailed development, caused displacement; schools shut down and infringed fear among locals who have migrated from the area.

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