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Raiders injure 8 police officers, civilian in Meru ambush

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Raiders injure 8 police officers, civilian in Meru ambush by Kenyans247(1): Sat 14, November, 2020 08:31am
What you need to know:
The incident came a day after armed attackers from neighbouring Isiolo County killed a herder and injured two on Thursday.
The police commander said the long-standing dispute over the grazing land and should be addressed by political leaders and government agencies.
Eight police officers and one civilian were shot and wounded in an ambush by raiders at Makinya in Igembe North, Meru County, on Friday evening.

The incident came a day after armed attackers from neighbouring Isiolo County killed a herder and injured two on Thursday.

Meru County Police Commander John Mwanzia said among the injured were three General Service Unit (GSU) officers, five Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) officers and a boda boda rider who was caught in the crossfire.

Mr Mwanzia said the security officers were ambushed while patrolling grazing areas following the killing on Thursday.

Herders from the Meru and Turkana communities have been tussling over sections of the 640-square kilometre area, which serves as grazing land for Meru herders and was previously earmarked for Nyambene conservancy.


“The officers sustained injuries to the legs and hands and are stable. Three GSU officers and a civilian are at Maua Methodist Hospital while five ASTU officers are in Isiolo (county referral hospital),” Mr Mwanzia said.

The police commander said the long-standing dispute over the grazing land and should be addressed by political leaders and government agencies.

“Police cannot solve a land dispute. We need the National Land Commission, communities and leaders to come together to find a solution,” he said.

Mr Mwanzia said security teams from Meru and Isiolo will meet on Saturday to restore sanity in the area.

Lasting solutions
Ndumuru herders’ chairman Genesio Gitonga said the attackers warned them against grazing across Isiolo-Wajir road, which cuts across Meru.

“They claim the land is theirs yet it is our ancestral grazing area. About five people have been killed since August due to the conflict. They are operating in a militia-like style. Security should be intensified to smoke out the militia,” Mr Gitonga said.

He claimed about 100 heavily armed raiders from Daaba in Isiolo ambushed the police officers.

Meru herders have called for an operation to recover illegal guns in the hands of Daaba residents.

In October, the county security committee resolved to enhance security along the border with Isiolo, following conflicts over pasture by herders from the two counties.

A security meeting led by Meru County Commissioner Allan Machari, the police commander, Governor Kiraitu Murungi, and Igembe North MP Maore Maoka resolved to drive herders out of Isiolo and engage security teams from the neighbouring county to control grazing.

Herders from Meru have protested against an invasion by camel herders from Isiolo, saying there is a shortage of pasture in the county.

Mr Maoka called for deployment of more police officers to man the expansive and volatile border with Isiolo.

He said the national government, through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), built several police posts and improved roads to ease security operations.
https://nation.africa/kenya/counties/meru/raiders-injure-8-police-officers-civilian-in-meru-ambush-3020678

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