Tight security in Isiolo following killing of herders

By KBC Reporter

A combined force of security officers has been dispatched to Kom village in Isiolo County after 10 herdsmen were killed and several others injured in a clash over pasture.

Isiolo County Police Commander Charles Ontita said security officers were now on the ground to ascertain the actual number of those killed as they restore calm in the volatile area.

He said the deaths occurred after heavily armed herdsmen from Isiolo and Samburu counties clashed over grazing area in Isiolo County.

He said owing to communication barrier, reports about the incident reached police at the Merti Sub County headquarters after four hours, delaying police action.

The police boss said a contingent of security officers from regular, Administration and Anti stock theft units were immediately dispatched to the area and managed to quell the fight.

Armed cattle herders from Isiolo and Samburu counties fought over grazing access along the two county borders

Merti Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Julius Maiyo said the dispute started three weeks ago and several meetings were held in the area and were pending a consensus when the herders from the Borana community launched attacks.

The DCC further said the situation could have been confounded by failure of the leaders from Samburu North Sub County to turn up for the last meeting last week between the two communities.

He added that over 50,000 livestock mainly cows were grazing in the area from Isiolo, Marsabit and Samburu counties.

Maiyo said that more security officers would be deployed to increase security status and patrols at every borehole and wells in the area.

On Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced he is sending troops to the northern regions of Laikipia and Baringo.

Both have suffered a string of deadly attacks in recent months as armed cattle herders searching for grazing have driven cattle onto private farms and ranches.