Police headquarters has issued a red alert of ethnic cleansing plot by two rival communities in the Kapedo region.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet through National Police Service spokesperson Charles Owino confirmed having received information of ongoing ground mobilisation of youths from Turkana East and Tiaty Constituency to stage attacks against each other.
The warning comes amid reports of acquisition of illegal firearm stockpiles by the two rival communities. “We wish to alert the public that we have received information that certain individuals in Turkana and Tiaty constituency respectively are mobilising youths in preparation for a clash.
“The police are warning against the mobilisation as it could lead to unnecessary loss of lives.” Owino said.
Although Owino said all security agencies in the area have been ordered to set up their vigilance and deal firmly with any law breakers, locals, mostly women and children are camping in camps in fear of full blown attacks.
Police sources indicate political leaders are fanning the violence that could potentially have spillover effects to neighbouring regions. Currently, tension is high and the rough terrain has been cited as an obstacle for swift police response.
Earlier this week, a police reservist identified as Samuel Koit was shot dead at Lokori within Kapedo by suspected Pokot raiders and his AK47 rifle stolen. Another civilian, Samwel Epuu was also killed during the attack. Four mourners were also injured in an ambush raid staged against a funeral convoy to bury three people killed in Kapedo.
The three including a police reservist were killed as several were injured in what authorities claim is a retaliatory attack in what appears to have become a deadly battle ground. Three years ago, the government issued a two day ultimatum against bandits to surrender all illegal guns and stolen livestock in the area.
Around the same time, over fifty people were massacred in Nadome village in retaliatory attack. In 2012, 42 police officers were massacred in Suguta valley during a botched security operation to recover stolen cattle.
In a synonymous ambush attack by bandits, 21 officers were slaughtered and their vehicle burnt down in Kapedo where Kenya Defence Forces are currently undertaking mop up exercise of illicit weapons in civilians’ hands.
At least 19 Administration Police officers and three civilians were killed at Suguta Valley by bandits who made away with more than 2,000 bullets, resulting in a joint operation by the military and the police in the area.