Matiang’i vows to bring to book killers of GSU officer

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 00:00 |
Security officers keep vigil after a past attack. Photo/PD/file

The Government has launched a massive manhunt for armed bandits that laid a siege on a team of officers from the Rapid Deployment Unit in Ameyen area at the border of Turkana and Baringo counties on Sunday. 

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i said the Inspector General of Police has since deployed officers for an unprecedented operation in the restive area. 

The CS said initial investigations reveal the ambush took place against the backdrop of a ritual ceremony in which the  bandits were intentionally charged and adjured by some traditional leaders in a form of cultural ceremony. 

“We condemn yesterday’s premeditated, cold-blooded, heinous attack on our security personnel, who were on a routine security mission in Kapedo.

We will not relent until all the perpetrators, including the elders who administered the oath and sent off the killers, are surrendered and brought to justice,” said Matiang’i. 

In a press statement to newsrooms, Matiang’i said the operation will be extensive and meticulously comb through every nook and cranny in the area until the criminals are apprehended, adding the region has claimed the lives of security officers and locals. 

“The attack, which took place between Kapedo and Chemolingot in Baringo County at Amaya center at 4:30pm on Sunday, took the precious life of our GSU Deputy Operations Director, Emadau Temako, and left two other officers injured,” he added. 

The CS further noted that it was unfortunate that extraordinary efforts to find a lasting solution to the security challenges and breakdowns in peace between the Pokot and Turkana communities continue to face serious resistance from leaders, who have been patronising the deadly attacks in pursuit of criminal and selfish interests.  

The CS condoled with families of gallant officers who have lost their lives, saying they selflessly put their lives on the line to protect the nation. 

“As part of the efforts to change our national security doctrines in the area and decisively address the escalating attacks, we appeal to members of the public to work closely with our security officers with a view to bringing this matter to closure and begin a return to normalcy,” he added. 

Strategic place

While echoing Matangi’s statement, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya yesterday said those responsible will face the full force of the law.  

He confirmed that the Deputy Director of Operations was attacked and killed as he was planning on how to relocate the current General Service Unit (GSU) camp from Kapedo village to a more strategic place.

 According to Natembeya, two other officers are fighting for their lives in various hospitals after sustaining gunshot wounds, insisting they were not on any operations.  

“The officers were shot and wounded in the attack that happened as they led a convoy of cars in the area,” said Natembeya.  

He noted that the matter was a blatant show of impunity, saying the same will be crushed with the necessary force to ensure no life is lost.

“We are going to impose ourselves as government in that area and ensure the rule of law is normalised and sustained,” he said.  

Natembeya warned the time for blame game was over, adding those responsible will face the full force of the law  regardless of their status in society.  

Natembeya regretted they have lost two officers in a span of two weeks, saying they were attacked and killed without them being in active operation.  

“One of the officers was fatally shot while searching for firewood and the other met his death while looking for a suitable location for relocation,” he said.  

He warned  residents against siding with goons and bandits in challenging the government.  

Renewed violence in Kapedo was sparked after a man was killed during a gunfight between two groups over an alleged incident of cattle rustling.  

The violence has led to a near-paralysis in learning and economic activities as security officers advise locals to remain indoors in the course of the operation.  

More officers have been deployed in the area to weed out gunmen from hideouts within the volatile terrain.  

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