State declares dusk-to-dawn curfew at restive Laikipia Conservancy

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 00:00 |
Laikipia banditry security.

The government yesterday declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew at the Laikipia Nature Conservancy, as the government intensified  its efforts of flushing bandits out in the war-prone zone.

Interior Cabinet Secretary  (CS) Fred Matiang’i said the, decision, arrived at by the National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta; followed recent cases of cattle rustling as well as surge of illegal gun ownership in Laikipia County.

“Given this deteriorating security situation, the NSC has issued the following directives; Laikipia Nature Conservancy and its environs be immediately declared as disturbed  area and therefore; security operation zone,” said Matiang’i.

Repeated warnings

Matiang’i said the move would help the government to contain the worsening insecurity caused by heavily armed bandits, who he accused of ignoring warnings to surrender.

 The council also resolved that all leaders, businessmen and public officers who have illegally moved their livestock into the conflict zone to remove them within 48 hours.

 The move came a few hours after Laikipia senatorial aspirant Maina Njenga pleaded with the government to consider re-deploying police reservists to the area.

 “This issue should be handled with the seriousness it deserves. Be ruthless to these bandits and they will never appear again,” he said.

The government withdrew the  reservists in 2019 and seized more than 3,000 firearms in a bid to contain banditry in the North Rift.

This was after it emerged that some of the reservists ad been misusing the weapons by engaging in crime.

 On Friday, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said the government was changing its approach to insecurity in the country after various interventions failed to restore peace.

 “The CS issued an order, but we haven’t seen the desired response. We have tried persuasion and diplomatic approaches in vain.

The Regional Commissioner is on the ground negotiating on our behalf, but nothing positive seems forthcoming. This is a matter we are now taking very seriously,” Kibicho said.

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