500 Tugen youths take bows, arrows and patrol border
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.