500 Tu­gen youths take bows, ar­rows and pa­trol bor­der

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties -

More than 500 Tu­gen youth armed with bows and poi­son-tipped ar­rows are pa­trolling the strife-torn bor­der of Baringo North and Ti­aty sub­coun­ties, amid at­tacks be­tween the Marak­wet and the Pokot in the Ke­rio Val­ley.

Since March, 20 peo­ple have been killed, sev­eral in­jured and 2,000 dis­placed from 10 vil­lages by Pokot ban­dits armed with AK-47 ri­fles in El­geyo Marak­wet county.

“More than 500 of us have de­cided to launch our own pa­trols along the bor­ders just in case the armed Pokots at­tack our side,” David Ke­mei said. They have pa­trolled for six months.

“We al­ways liv­ing in fear of the Pokot at­tacks, es­pe­cially to­wards De­cem­ber Christ­mas hol­i­days. That is why we have de­cided to stay alert,” Ke­mei told the Star in Bartabwa on Mon­day.

Thomas Che­bu­ret said, “His­tor­i­cally, the Pokot at­tack the Marak­wet, then they cross­over to at­tack us the Tu­gen and the Ilchamus in Baringo. So we fear the guns might strike us at any time.”

He said Pokot ban­dits are mo­ti­vated by cul­tural prac­tices. For in­stance, young men are ex­pected to steal cat­tle to pay dowry. They asked area MP Wil­liam Chep­tumo to ask the na­tional govern­ment to com­pen­sate the vic­tims.

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