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IG Koome Visits Baringo as Fears Spread Over Rise in Bandit Attacks

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Following a series of violent incidents inspired by bandits, especially in the North Rift region of Kenya, the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome is on a three-day security assessment tour in Baringo County, the National Police Service (NPS) announced Tuesday.

With the country’s banditry crimes on the rise this year, the Inspector General was quick to point out that the situation has grown so severe that people in other counties as well, including Isiolo, Samburu, and Meru, are afraid of its disruptive impact and intensity of violence as significant numbers of people have already lost their lives and communities their source of livelihood as bandits make away with livestock like camels, goats, and cattle.

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In just the past few weeks, in Samburu, Angata Nyanyokie MCA Paul Leshimpiro was shot dead by suspected bandits as he was being driven home, and the outlaws killed one other person a few kilometers away during his burial days ago.

In late February, five people were killed in separate bandit attacks in Elgeyo Marakwet, Samburu, and Baringo, where Constable Simon Kandie, who was off duty, was shot in the morning of March 19.

The police and the Ministry of Interior and Administration of National Government led by Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, in charge of internal security, identified banditry as one of the gravest security threats the country faces and so the authorities came up with Maliza Uhalifu Operation, a joint policing partnership between Kenya Defence Forces, NPS, and local administration and the elders to address the banditry menace in the affected regions and it has proved fruitful so far.

“Since its launch last year, Operation Maliza Uhalifu has recorded significant gains against the banditry menace with the return to normalcy, reopening and resumption of learning in schools, recovery of over 11,000 stolen livestock and over 100 illicit firearms,” IG Koome said, warning the bandits to “stop or face the full force of the law” as he visited Chemolingot area, the Joint Police-Military Operation Centre for the ongoing counterinsurgency, after meeting Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi at the County Headquarters in Kabarnet town.

In the operation to bring down bandits, which involves traditional policing as in random patrols and police responses to emergency calls and tip-offs, the government is also employing new technologies, and drones have already been deployed to aid in monitoring and detective work to drive out the criminal gangs.

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JUSTUS KIPRONO
JUSTUS KIPRONOhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Justus Kiprono is a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He tracks Capital Markets and economic trends, infrastructure reform, government spending, and the financial impacts of state decision-making nationwide. You can reach him: [email protected]
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