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Kenyan Military Sent to Uganda Border to Combat Bandits

Kenya Defence Forces - Kenyan Military Sent to Uganda Border to Combat Bandits
Kenyan Military Sent to Uganda Border to Combat Bandits

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In a move to address recent incidents of banditry and restore order along the Kenya-Uganda border, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) have been dispatched to the Kanyerus Area of West Pokot. This deployment comes in response to a surge in criminal activity that involved bandits attacking the area, resulting in fatalities among residents and the theft of numerous cattle.

Tensions escalated further following the killing of a local councillor in neighboring Uganda. As a result, residents had been forced to flee their homes for weeks. However, with the government’s intervention, a joint security team comprising KDF and Kenyan police officers was deployed, allowing residents to gradually return to their normal daily lives.

Local residents expressed their relief at the security presence. Chepokilipa Chilakit, a resident, stated, “Sisi hatuna hata askari ya kukinga sisi…ni sisi pekee yetu…tunatangatanga usiku na watoto na mang’ombe…tumeumia kuumia” (We don’t even have soldiers to protect us…it’s just us…we wander at night with children and cattle…we’ve suffered greatly).

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Another resident added, “Watu wameadhirika sana wametoka nyumbani mwao kuenda kuhamia mahali kwengine na pia hii kazi ingefaa tuwe tunahesabu idadi ya watu kila nyumba” (People have suffered; they left their homes to seek refuge elsewhere, and this work should also involve counting the number of people in each household).

Security officers patrolling the area appealed to residents to cooperate by providing crucial information about criminals from both sides of the neighboring countries. Kacheliba OCPD Victor Nzaka emphasized the presence of collaboration between a few residents and criminals from Uganda, leading to thefts in the area.

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Abdi Kassim, another resident, pointed out, “Kumekuwa na wizi…kuna a few residents ambao wana collaborate na criminals kutoka Uganda na ndio wamekuwa wakiingia hapa” (There have been thefts…there are a few residents who collaborate with criminals from Uganda, and that’s how they have been entering here).

In security meetings that convened representatives from the Sebei and Pokot communities inhabiting Eastern Uganda and the Pokot Community in Kenya, local leaders called upon both the Kenyan and Ugandan governments to address the issue of illegal firearms.

Former West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo stated, “Yafaidi nyinyi nini kusomwa kwa magazeti, social media negatively…leo ng’ombe, leo risasi and I have tabled a motion before these people, disarmament is the only option” (What benefit is it to you to read negative news in newspapers and on social media…today it’s cattle, tomorrow it’s bullets…I have presented a motion to these authorities, and disarmament is the only option).

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He further stressed the danger of individuals possessing firearms without proper rules and regulations, highlighting the recent increase in insecurity in the region.

The conflict that unfolded two weeks ago between the Sebei and Pokot communities stemmed from bandit attacks in Uganda, resulting in the death of a local councilor and the theft of an undisclosed number of cattle.

The presence of the joint security team not only restored peace to the region but also enabled students to return to their classrooms.