Tension reigns high within Rumuruti area after locals clashed with herders believed to be fleeing ongoing security operation in the neighbouring troubled Ol Moran and Laikipia Nature Conservancy, Laikipia County.
Hell broke loose during a weekly livestock market at Rumuruti amid prevailing tension between farmers and herders.
Rumuruti is the gazetted Laikipa County headquarters from Nanyuki but the Ndiritu Muriithi administration is yet to effect the notice.
The situation degenerated leading to temporarily paralysis of transport along the busy Nyahururu-Rumuruti-Maralal route.
Irate protestors barricaded the road with stones and lit bonifires.
However, anti-riot police were quick to restore normalcy.
“Security agencies must be very alert because there is indication that illegal herders are fleeing the security operation in pretense of coming to the livestock market. Due diligence must be conducted among all those bringing livestock for sale to ensure stolen livestock do not easily find their way here.” James Lunyek, area resident lamented.
This comes days after Interior Cabinet Secretary oversaw launch of security operation and commencement of reconstruction of at least 40 homes burnt down by the bandits.
At least more than ten people have been killed so far.
Nomadic pastoralists have been invading farms and plantations in the area and conducting illegal grazing in sparking animosity with the locals.
Marura area has been hardest hit before the government declared the area as a security zone and disturbed region.
The Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai has also barred politicians from the security zone.
Yesterday, to security chiefs under National Security Council (NSC) met and briefed President Uhuru Kenyatta on the progress so far made in Laikipia following a weeklong multi-agency operation.
The meeting came a week after another NSC one on September 6 ordered a raft of measures to be taken to ensure the safety of locals and especially ranch owners.
The operation started with the declaration of a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Laikipia Nature Conservancy after the country’s top security organ- NSC meeting at State House, Nairobi.
Matiang’i said that Laikipia Nature Conservancy and its environs had been immediately declared as a disturbed area and therefore a security operation zone.