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Laikipia West insecurity aimed at displacing local inhabitants, LNC management says

The region is not new to insecurity incidences, despite the government assuring the conservationists, farmers and ranchers of their safety and property.

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An armed herder

The management of Laikipia Nature Conservancy (LNC) has expressed fears that the insecurity in Laikipia West is politically incited aimed at displacing local inhabitants.

LNC Executive Director, Sveva Gallmann noted that in pre-election years, such as this, armed bandits invade the area and terrorise residents, including LNC management.

Renowned author and conservationist, Kuki Gallmann was in May his year shot through the leg when she encountered bandits in her LNC property near Ol Moran.

“My mother is one of the dozens of community members who have been wounded or killed in recent months in Laikipia West,” stated Sveva in a statement.

In 2017, Kuki and her daughter, Sveva, were severely shot at and their exclusive safari lodge burnt down by suspected cattle raiders in the conservancy.

The 85,000-acre LNC was purchased from a Kenyan company in 1972, with leases that still run for many decades. From 1983, the land was dedicated to conservation and community projects.

Through the preservation of its extensive forest cover, it is the primary water tower for the World Heritage Sites of Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria.

The region is not new to insecurity incidences, despite the government assuring the conservationists, farmers and ranchers of their safety and property.

In March 2017, herders shot and killed Sosian Ranch co-owner Tristan Voorspuy while he was inspecting a burnt lodge in the expansive 24,000-acre ranch.

Armed herders from as far as Isiolo, Baringo, Pokot, Samburu and Marakwet regions have for years invaded and terrorized Suyian, Ol Maisor, ADC Mutara, LNC, Kifuku, Mugie, Sosian and other ranches.

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Laikipia

Senior UK military officers to tour Kenya over 2012 murder coverup near British army base

In 2012, the UK’s Special Investigation Branch carried out initial enquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to Kenyan police.

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The late Agnes Wanjiru. Photo/Courtesy

Senior United Kingdom military officers will be visiting Kenya in the coming weeks to look into a possible coverup of a murder case involving a Kenyan woman and British soldiers.

The body of 21-year-old Agnes Wanjiru was found at the Lions Court Hotel in Nanyuki town, Laikipia County two months after she disappeared in March 2012.

The identity of the British soldier who allegedly stabbed the woman to death before dumping her body in a hotel septic tank is widely known in the army, but no action has ever been taken against him.

A fellow soldier had gone to the “proper people” immediately after hearing a squaddie confess to the killing but said he was told to “shut up” when he reported it and no action was taken.

British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott in a statement said the UK was fully cooperating with the investigation and will help in any way it could.

In 2012, she said, the UK’s Special Investigation Branch carried out initial enquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to Kenyan police.

While expressing outrage and concern about the tragic death, the High Commissioner said no further investigation requests were made by Kenyan authorities at that time.

“Following the conclusion of a Kenyan inquest in 2019, we understand that the Kenyan authorities are looking into the murder. We will support that Kenyan police investigation,” she noted.

She emphasized that the conduct of the UK military in Kenya is incredibly important in enhancing bilateral relations but where there are issues, the UK have and would address them.

However, an inquest was held in Kenya in 2019 in which a judge ruled the mother was ‘murdered by British soldiers’ but no subsequent action was taken by the army.

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Laikipia Insecurity: Government to deploy special forces, orders non-residents to leave

On Sunday, heavily armed gunmen shot and killed three people and injured one in an attempted cattle rustling at Mbogoini Village near Laikipia Nature Conservancy, in Laikipia West.

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An armed herder

The government has resolved to deploy special forces and equipment in the troubled areas of Laikipia West sub-County.

Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Dr Fred Matiang’i in a statement also said the government would heighten operation in the region.

He regretted that despite the government’s efforts to enforce peace and stability in the region, hardcore bandits continue to wreak havoc.

“Unfortunately, innocent lives have been lost and many others injured in attacks that have also occasioned the destruction of private property and loss of livestock,” he stated.

At the same time, he ordered the eviction of non-residents of Laikipia County and its environs in a bid to tame the heightened threats caused by the hardcore bandits.

On Sunday, heavily armed gunmen shot and killed three people and injured one in an attempted cattle rustling at Mbogoini Village near Laikipia Nature Conservancy, in Laikipia West.

The government has in the past announced a raft of measures to address insecurity in the County, among them imposing a 6 pm to 6 am curfew and gazetting it as a security operation zone.

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Laikipia insecurity hampers government’s drought risk management programs

The insecurity has affected the broader community in the vital battle against climate change, land degradation, and sustainability projects such as avocado and apiary.

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A fattened Boran bull. Photo/Courtesy

The ongoing insecurity situation in Laikipia West has hampered the national government’s drought risk management programs at the Laikipia Nature Conservancy (LNC).

The National Drought Management Authority has partnered with the LNC in an annual fattening and breed stock improvement cycle for about 1,500 to 4,000 local livestock.

The LNC Executive Director, Sveva Gallmann says that local cattle are no longer able to access the grazing lands due to the ongoing insecurity.

She said LNC has for years provided structured grazing for community members without problems, generating income for the pastoralists of over KShs100 million a year.

“We had to stop this fattening scheme due to an insurgence of armed men with over 15, 000 head of cattle coming from other Counties,” she stated in a statement to newsrooms.

She revealed that the LNC had done away with cattle rearing projects and dedicated its well-managed grass bank to the neighbouring communities.

However, she noted, the armed insurgence has debilitated the scheme as many areas of the conservancy no longer have any grass left at all, and local pastoralists livelihoods are at stake.

Sveva added that the insecurity has affected the broader community in the vital battle against climate change, land degradation, and sustainability projects such as avocado and apiary.

“The LNC looks forward to the successful eviction of the remaining militia within LNC and a resumption of LNC’s work with government to deliver water, grazing and livelihoods to its local communities,” she stated.

The insecurity has also affected similar livestock programs at Kifuku Boran Stud, a cattle ranch near Rumuruti and other ranches in Laikipia County.

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