IG Koome visits troubled Baringo to boost operations

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome Monday flew to parts of Baringo to boost an ongoing operation against banditry.

Koome was accompanied by other senior officers from Nairobi and were to meet in various places to review ongoing operations in the area.

His office said he would address security chiefs and the media in Kabarnet police offices

The visit came as bandits on Sunday, March 31 shot and killed a female herder aged 55 in a raid in Rotion grazing field within Kaben location, Elgeyo Marakwet.

Susan Betareng was grazing her livestock when she was shot in the right thigh and right hand and died instantly.

Three cows were also shot. After the incident, the gunmen escaped without stealing the stock.

A team of security officials visited the scene as part of the probe into the attack.

An operation is ongoing in the area.

President William Ruto Saturday held a meeting of top security officials in Kilgoris to discuss the escalating security challenges in the North Rift.

Ruto said security operation in the North Rift has had a significant impact in restoring peace.

He said newly acquired equipment will help in the ongoing operations to tame the attacks, especially in parts of Baringo which are the worst affected.

“Recent incidents of cattle rustling and banditry are being handled with new additional measures. We are determined to restore peace in the North Rift and all other parts of the country that have witnessed disturbance of peace,” he said.

He said he received a brief on the security situation in the North Rift in a meeting with Interior and Administration of National Government officials.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kindiki Kithure led the team for the meeting.

Koome and his two deputies Douglas Kanja and Noor Gabow were present. Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo and Rift Valley heads of security among other top officials from the security sector were also in attendance.

Officials said the meeting aimed to tackle the persistent violence perpetrated by bandits in the area.

The meeting comes amidst a renewed strategy by the government to combat entrenched the banditry that has continued to rule the area for years.

Kindiki commissioned the first batch of modern security equipment.

It included Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) and Armoured Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Operation Maliza Uhalifu in the North Rift was launched in February 2023, following continuous violent activity by the bandits.

The operation is led by police forces and supported by the military in a multi-agency security team that also consists of National Police Reservists-volunteers operating as supplementary forces within their communities.

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