NAIROBI, September 1 – Kenya has launched talks with the government of Southern Sudan to demand return of a herdsman who was abducted during a cattle raid in Turkana on Saturday.
The herdsman Kakeru Amon aged 18 was abducted when heavily armed Topossa bandits crossed the border and killed more than ten people, mainly herdsmen grazing cattle at a Manyatta in Mogila Location.
The incident occurred at a remote village, some 65 kilometres North East of Lokichoggio.
Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti on Monday confirmed that two boys aged 12 and 13 were among those killed during the incident.
He identified the two young boys as Edod Emojor and Ekei Lokonyike.
They were grazing cattle about 3 kms from the Southern Sudan border when heavily armed Topossa bandits from East Kapoeta County District of Southern Sudan struck.
“A protest letter has been written through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Government of Southern Sudan, demanding the return of the abducted youth and several herds of cattle that were stolen,” he said.
The Minister said the government had intensified patrols in the Northern Turkana district and other border points in the Rift Valley and North Eastern Provinces.
He said contingents of General Service Unit (GSU) and police were patrolling the area to restore security in the area.
The security forces are particularly concentrated at Kibish, Todonyang and Lokichogio.
“More security personnel have been deployed in the area equipped with the necessary tools to combat cattle rustling. Similarly, police reservists there have been given necessary support to provide first line defence,” he said.
The Minister also announced that all the 130 herds of cattle stolen on the August 24 from Loraru location had been recovered.
The cattle were stolen from Lorau Location, 85 kms North East of Lokochogio by Topossa bandits.
“Our security personnel have since recovered all the stolen animals and the search is still going on for cattle stolen in the second raid,” he said.
Professor Saitoti said District Security Intelligence Committee from Turkana North has held meetings with authorities from Southern Sudan, seeking to recover animals stolen in the past.
Latest reports indicate that there is tension at the Southern Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda borders where attacks and counter attacks have been frequent in the recent past.
This has been between the Karamojong and Dodoth of Uganda, Merille of Ethiopia and Topossa and Dongiro of Sudan.
“All these communities are heavily armed with illegal firearms and the matter is receiving attention by respective governments to ensure communities are disarmed to pave way for development,” he said.
“For instance, Kenya and Uganda are committed to joint and simultaneous disarmament programme to mop up the illegal arms.”
Saitoti said the commitment will be demonstrated on Saturday during a visit by the Provincial Security Intelligence Committee which will be touring Nadapol border area within Turkana district.
The security committee to be led by Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner Hassan Noor will be seeking to assess the situation with a view to boost the capacity of security personnel along the border.