Armed Pokot youths besiege Turkana village

November 24, 2013 9:46 am
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According to the National Disaster Operation Centre (NDOC) the gunmen who are believed to be from the Pokot community were still in the area by Sunday morning/FILE
According to the National Disaster Operation Centre (NDOC) the gunmen who are believed to be from the Pokot community were still in the area by Sunday morning/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – Lorokon village in Turkana County is still under siege where armed militiamen are holding hostage three police camps, amid a territorial dispute between two local communities.

According to the National Disaster Operation Centre (NDOC) the gunmen who are believed to be from the Pokot community were still in the area by Sunday morning.

“Contact has been made with one of the Lorokon camps. Gunfire has stopped, but militiamen remain in the area,” the NDOC said on its twitter account.

Following the clashes, the village is facing a humanitarian crisis after having been besieged for four days with more than 900 people, mostly women and children, affected.

The problem started Wednesday when Turkana South OCPD Richard Kipsang was leading a team of officers drawn from the regular police, Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) and the Administration Police (AP) from Kainuk police station to the Turkwel Gate within Lorokon area when they met a group of about 200 heavily armed Pokot youths.

Police said the group barricaded the road and refused to allow them access to Lorokon, claiming the area was under the jurisdiction of the Pokot and not Turkana.

As the police team was withdrawing, they came under attack from another armed group that had laid ambush along the way.

This prompted local leaders to intervene and allowed the officers to continue with their mission to help the residents of Lorokon, mostly members of Turkana ethnic group who are trapped there.

More police officers have been sent to fight armed Pokot militiamen.

“A curfew has been established in southern Turkana and north Pokot County areas of Kainuk and Nakwamoru,” the Interior Ministry said.

The war-like Turkana and Pokot tribes often clash, mostly over cattle rustling.

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