, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – Five people who included a policeman were shot dead when security forces clashed with cattle raiders at a remote village in Turkana on Thursday morning.
Another police officer sustained serious gunshot wounds and was admitted to hospital, police said.
“There was an incident involving cattle rustlers who were being pursued by our officers, and during the exchange of fire, one of our officers was Killed,” Rift Valley Provincial Police Chief Francis Munyambu said.
He said hundreds of animals were recovered after the incident that occurred at Lokorio.
More police officers were sent to the neighbouring Pokot district to pursue the raiders and recover more animals stolen on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We have mobilised our security forces including the GSU (General Service Unit) and they are conducting a security operation in the area,’ Mr Munyambu added.
Cases of cattle rustling are common in Turkana and neighbouring districts where residents are pastoralists.
Most of the residents there are often armed to protect their cattle, including Merille tribesmen from Ethiopia who live along the Kenyan border.
Merille tribesmen often clash with Turkanas whenever they cross over the border to steal animals.
Last month, the Kenyan government announced it was establishing a water sharing framework agreement with Ethiopia to bring to an end the animosity between communities living on both sides of the border.
Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti who led a high-powered delegation to Addis Ababa in June said the two countries had formed a technical committee to study the viability of the project which will commence soon.
“Let me emphasise that Kenya identifies the issue of trans-boundary resources including the Lake Turkana and River Omo, and River Daua Basins, which are critical in the light of the fragile ecological zone shared by the two countries,” the Minister who is also acting in the Foreign Ministry portfolio said.
In the recent weeks, Merille tribesmen have launched attacks on the Kenyan side, killing at least 40 locals over what authorities have linked to the scramble for natural resources along Lake Turkana.[cresta-social-share]