Members of the Uasin Gishu CSO's network at a past media briefing.

Over 160 Killed In Kerio Valley by Bandits in the Last 12 Months

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A group of Civil Society Groups in Uasin Gishu County has expressed concerns over increased banditry attacks in the Kerio Valley belt.

The group, under the umbrella of Uasin Gishu Civil Society Network, says the upsurge of armed bandit attacks that had left tens killed was worrying.

In a media briefing in Eldoret town, the group led by its chairperson Benedine Kipruto called on the government to take swift action that will ensure citizens’ lives are protected.

Uasin Gishu Civil Society Network chairperson Benedine Kipruto address the press in Eldoret town on May 31, 2022.

It also condemned a recent attack in Tot, West Pokot County that left four people dead, three of who were children, and several others injured.

The government should fulfill its constitutional duty of providing protection to all citizens across the country,” said the Uasin Gishu Civil Society Network, in a press statement.

We condemn what is happening in Kerio Valley. People killing children in the fields is something that should not be happening. One life is important. How many people is the government waiting to die before it acts?” added Rev. Samuel Kiptanui, the chairman of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Those injured following the Tot attack are receiving treatment at various health facilities within the region, among them the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret.

Medics at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret attend to Shadrack Kirop who survived a banditry attack in Kerio Valley on May 29, 2022. Photo/Nation Media Group

MTRH Chief Executive Officer Dr. Wilson Aruasa said those admitted to the hospital with gunshot wounds are in stable condition.

Samuel Kosgey, the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) coordinator in the Eldoret Catholic Diocese, who spoke during the media briefing said for the last twelve months, at least 160 people have been killed along the Kerio Valley belt due to bandit attacks.

We’ve lost close to 90 people in Marakwet East and Marakwet East, more than 50 people in Tiaty, and more than 20 people in Pokot Central,” Kosgey said.

The situation is so bad, the government needs to do something,” he added.

Eldoret Catholic Diocese CJPC Coordinator Samuel Kosgey

Meanwhile, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago has challenged the government to act with seriousness and address ongoing Kerio Valley insecurity.

Speaking at a separate event, Mandago said Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i needs to move out of his comfort zone and ensure the people of Kerio Valley leave in peace.

Where is the future of the people of Kerio Valley? Is Kerio Valley a place that is supposed to be left for bandits to roam left, right and center? It is sad that the government remains silent when we are losing lives almost every day,” said the county boss who doubles up as the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) chairman.

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