Two children in hospital after being shot by bandits in West Pokot
Two children in West Pokot County have been hospitalized after being shot by suspected bandits from Turkana County.
The 11 and 10-year-old boys were shot after being kidnapped by suspected bandits who ambushed them while herding livestock at Kamurion village along the border of West Pokot and Turkana County on Saturday evening.
More retaliatory attacks continue to be reported along the border of the two counties.
This comes after an unknown number of cattle was stolen from Lochacha village, Nasolot area near Sarmach on Wednesday last week.
Confirming the incident, Kostei Location Chief Afrikano Romano said suspected bandits numbering five armed with rifles ambushed Kamurio village near Nasolot game reserve and raided the village and drove away with 100cows which were being herded by the two boys.
He added that the owners of the cows together with the locals decided to follow up on the stolen livestock that’s when the bandits decided to shoot the two boys.
“Fortunately the boys didn’t die but they sustained serious injuries. After they saw they were being followed they forced the two young boys to accompany them as human shields and when they were overpowered they let the boys go and shot them from the back. One shot on the back and the bullet also ripped part of his neck and the other the bullet hit in between his thighs.” He said.
He said there is a lot of tension in the area and police officers have been deployed to contain the situation.
West Pokot county commissioner Apollo Okello said the attack took place on Saturday afternoon and the injured have been hospitalized.
He said one of the boys has been hospitalized at Kapenguria County referral hospital while the other was referred to Moi Teaching and referral hospital Eldoret for further treatment.
“After being shot, the boys were taken to Turkwel dispensary for first aid,” said Apollo.
Pokot Central Sub-County police Commandant Nelson Omwenga said members of the public managed to recover the stolen livestock as the bandits dashed in the thickest.
He said police officers have been deployed in the area to reduce tension.
Peace ambassadors in the area have condemned the incidents calling for peaceful coexistence in the area.
“We want to end banditry. There are schools along the border that have been closed. We cannot allow young people to be killed in banditry,” said Diana Rotich, the Director of Kenya Pastoralists Community organization.
Rotich called on the Government to speed up setting up permanent military camps in the region to bring a lasting solution.
She called on youth from warring communities to embrace peace.
A professional Abel Lokwete said that women and children are the most affected by insecurity.
Lokwete urged the Pokot and Turkana Peace Committee members to intervene in the matter.
“We need peace between the two Communities and we should come together as peace mediators to help finish the menace,” he said.
More than 60 people have been killed and thousands displaced, hundreds of livestock stolen, and property destroyed in the Kerio Valley region since the year began.
The military intervention to complement police efforts in the fight against bandits who have caused mayhem and loss of property in the North Rift region has not yielded fruits