Matiangi merges 2 locations in Baringo, orders security operation

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has ordered the merging of Muktani and Makutani locations in the troubled Baringo county.

Speaking at Sarova Woodlands in Nakuru during a high-level security meeting for Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and West Pokot, Matiangi said it was wrong to have two overlapping locations with different administration.

The Cabinet Secretary also ordered the redrawing of boundaries and stated that a new chief will also be appointed.

“Previous Provincial Administrations erred by creating Two overlapping locations just to please the two communities in the area, the boundaries have been a source of conflicts,” he said.

He further redeployed the two chiefs in charge of Muktani and Makutano to the regional headquarters for other roles.

Matiangi also declared Muchongoi a security operation area involving ground and aerial assaults.

He warned the leaders present who included Governors Alex Tolgos, Stanley Kiptis and John Lonyangapuo against running to the Office of the President to have the operation called off.

“The chaos in Muchongoi going all the way to Kerio Valley are not resources conflicts, they are territorial,” he said.

He also indicated that the operation was meant to drive back bandits who invaded Baringo as they ran away from Laikipia Nature Conservancy.

“It is unimaginable how invaders can raid an area in the name of looking for water and pasture then displace communities more than kilometers in,” he said.

Matiangi has also reestablished the National Police Reservists (NPRs) after a three-year break.

The NPRs were withdrawn in 2019 and disarmed them over Claims that they were being involved in cattle rustling.

There was an immediate backlash from the communities in the affected areas and their leaders who said the disbandment and disarmament left them unguarded.

On Friday, Matiangi said there were new measures for the recruitment of NPR and those who pass through the rigorous vetting will be deployed.

He said five new platoons has been deployed along the Elgeyo Marakwet-West Pokot border.

An Anti-Stock Theft Unit Station has also been placed at Chesegon along the Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo boundary.

Those present were MPs from seven constituencies which are worst affected by the conflicts that have intensified since last year.

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