Isiolo leaders accuse Samburu counterparts of covering up atrocities

Leaders from Isiolo County have accused their counterparts from the neighboring Samburu County of attempting to cover up atrocities meted out on the people of Merti Sub County in Isiolo by armed raiders from their county in recent years.

Addressing journalists in Isiolo yesterday, MCAs Halima Abgudo of Cherab Ward, Peter Losu (Ngaremara ward), Meja Abdullahi Golicha (Chari ward), and Abubakar Abdi Godana of Sericho ward lashed out at a section of leaders from Samburu County led by Governor Lati Lelelit who held a press conference recently accusing herders from Isiolo of stealing their livestock and killing one person in Kom area.

The leaders dismissed the claims painting the herders from Isiolo who play host to their counterparts from Samburu during drought situations in a bad light.

Waso Borana Professionals’ Spokesperson Ali Guracha noted that the presence of armed herders from Samburu County in traditional grazing areas for the people of Isiolo for the last three years has resulted in untold suffering by the host community, as the armed herders access grazing areas and water points forcefully, leading to conflicts.

According to Guracha, at least five schools namely Lakole, Dadacha Lafe, Yamicha, Dololo Dakhiye, and Alango Primary Schools have been closed due to insecurity, while in the last three years, 84 people have been killed and over 20,000 heads of cattle stolen by armed bandits from the neighboring Samburu County.

“Lat month, three days to the election, they killed three people and injured another three,” said Mohamed Abduba.

They further accused the County Security team of failure to act appropriately whenever such crimes are committed, also calling for the relocation of security officers who they claim have overstayed in the region.

Merti Sub County Peace Committee Chairman Mohamed Abduba said that apart from killings and displacement of people from areas such as Yamicha and Urura, the road from Merti town to Isiolo has been rendered impassable due to band attacks perpetrated by the armed herders.

Abduba said that travelers are now forced to use the longer route that passes through Garbatula in Isiolo South to be assured of their safety. He appealed to security teams in the region to act decisively and reign in on cattle rustlers, recovering stolen animals impartially in order to discourage the age-old practice.

The leaders tasked their counterparts from Samburu County to desist from efforts to paint their hosts in Isiolo County in bad light and instead ask herders from their area to obey the law and also return stolen animals to their rightful owners.

They claimed that all the mentioned killings and raids have happened within the borders of Isiolo County, with locals also facing aggression from herders from Wajir and Garissa as well.

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