Bandits torch Laikipia school, day after NSAC steps in to stop havoc

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021 00:00 |
Security checks damage after bandits torch Laikipia school.

Suspected bandits yesterday torched a primary school in the troubled Laikipia county, barely a day after the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) moved in and declared the volatile Laikipia Nature Conservancy and its environs as a security operation zone

After torching Melgwete Primary School in the Ol Moran area in Laikipia North, the armed bandits engaged security forces in a shootout as they escaped.

The ongoing chaos in the county has so far left more than 12 people (including two police officers) dead and hundreds of residents displaced.

Yesterday journalists and a host of local leaders who had visited the school to assess the situation were caught up in the shootout.

The attack happened as Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya launched a security operation about 4km away in Ol Moran town.

Natembeya, who arrived in the area minutes after the bandits fled, the school was among schools that were closed down due to the insecurity in Laikipia and there were no pupils in school when the incident occurred.

Natembeya said while security forces were using AK-47 and G3 rifles, the bandits are using heavy and sophisticated firearms.

 His sentiments came even as Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said the government formed a multi-agency team to flush out illegal occupants of the conservancy and its environs following the declaration of the region as a disturbed area.

“Never before has what we are doing has ever been done. The approach we are using is unprecedented.

It’s something that has not been done before. We want to resolve this issue completely. I can tell you that after this operation you will never hear this again.” 

Matiangi said the crisis in the conservancy is not related to pasture but politically instigated especially in the run up to the election.

In a statement issued on Monday after a National Security Council meeting at State House, Matiang’i declared a dusk-to-dawn (6pm-6am) in the affected areas. 

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