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Security forces take over patrols in West Pokot after bandit attack kills five

Multi-agency teams, including the Kenya Defense Force (KDF), the General Service Unit (GSU), and the Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU), have taken over patrols at the war-torn Lami Nyeusi area along the Kitale-Lodwar highway in West Pokot County after five people were killed by suspected bandits from Turkana County last Thursday.

Uncertainty still remains at Lami Nyeusi as villages remain deserted, businesses closed, and hundreds of displaced residents fled the area. The security team, based at Kainuk and Loyapat in the neighboring Turkana County, is manning villages and protecting residents in the area.

Fresh banditry attacks and cattle rustling activities have resurfaced in the region after five years of peaceful co-existence. Lami Nyeusi area, three kilometers away from the troubled Kainuk area in Turkana County, has been making headlines over banditry, cattle rustling, and armed highway robbery.

The incidents are happening despite the ongoing joint operation by the KDF and police in the area.

A humanitarian crisis is looming in the region following renewed fresh banditry attacks after five years of peaceful co-existence. Residents who depend on gold mining have suspended their activities due to fear. They are now calling for humanitarian aid, accusing political leaders from the region of inciting them and fueling animosity.

Locals are now crying out for help, warning that the situation is steadily getting out of hand if urgent interventions are not put in place. A snap survey showed that many families are camping at Orwa, Lous, Kambi Karai, Sarmach, Nasolot and Marich due to fear of an attack. Many residents are starving as food and water are scarce, and gold mining has been affected because of the security lapse.

Among the villages affected are Orwa, Lami Nyeusi, Kambi Karaya, Lous, Masol, Phoigh, and Sarmach. Locals are now living in panic and fear for their lives, calling on the government to suspend the ongoing operation, saying it has not borne any fruits in the area. They said the boundary issue was the root cause of conflicts among the warring neighboring communities.

A local David Domungura called on the Government to unite the two communities and bring together leaders from the warring communities. “Newly elected leaders are the ones inciting locals. We were staying in peace before the elections. Let them come out clear about what is fueling animosity. There is no need to incite people. People are resources. Let the President intervene because the killers are not after stealing but killing,” he said.

Domungura noted that residents who are sleeping in bushes have been affected by pneumonia, malaria, and mosquitoes. “The peace gains should not be reversed but should be guarded jealously. I wish to thank the National Government for swiftly dispatching security officers to the area, thus quelling the rising tension,” he said. Domungura noted that there is a need for National Police Reservists [NPRS] in the area. “People are sleeping in Kambi Karaya and Sarmach, and Lami Nyeusi center has remained without anyone,” he said. He called on the NCIC to intervene and hold inciters to account.

Isaac Kolikamar said that there is no water in the area. “We use water for gold, but now there is fear. We have nothing to eat. We have been displaced, and we sleep on hills and caves. We lost our properties. Our goats and chickens got lost,” he said. He cited the boundary issue as the cause of conflicts. “Where are our leaders? Why tell

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