Now Army joins war on militia
Story by BERNARD KWALIA and KENNEDY MASIBO
11. March 2008
Soldiers have been deployed in Mount Elgon and Trans Nzoia
districts to flush out militiamen causing mayhem in the area.
They arrived in the districts on Sunday and will conduct
The operation in the region where militia groups have since early
last year caused havoc is seen as the Governmentís first step to
assist the police in dealing with outlawed groups in the country.
The operation is likely to move to other places like Kuresoi,
Sotik-Borabu and Laikipia.
The soldier are backed by five helicopters and several armoured
vehicles and tanks. They camped at Kapkoto in Cheptais Division
and Malakisi in Teso District before the operation.
The officers sealed off all outlets of the two districts and also
manned the Kenya-Uganda border to ensure the militiamen did not
escape. The Government also declared a 7pm to 7am curfew in the
The militia include Sabaot Land Defence Forces (SLDF), Mooreland
Forces (MF) and the newly formed Political Revenge Movement (PRM).
The soldiers - who teamed up with the General Service Unit (GSU),
regular police, Anti-Stock Theft Unit and Administration Police
(AP) - were dispatched to the larger Mt Elgon Forest and Cheptais
to crack down on the militia.
By 6am Monday, they had mounted an intensive operation at Kamaran,
Kaptaboi, Chesiro and Kilgut in Cheptais, Mt Elgon District,
believed to be an SLDF hideout. They bombed a number of caves used
by the militia as their armouries.
Western provincial commissioner Abdul Mwasera confirmed that the
operation was on but said it was too early for him to comment on
Villagers in Cheptais feared the operation was likely to target
innocent people since information had leaked to the militiamen 10
days ago, prompting them to escape to other neighbouring districts
Area MP Fred Kapondi criticised the Government for launching the
operation in the district when calm had returned.
Mr Kapondi said similar operations by the police in the district
in the past one and half years, had failed. He called on the
Government to resort to dialogue to restore peace in the area.
Speaking to the Daily Nation by telephone, Mr Kapondi said the
operation would affect farmers in the area, who had returned to
their homes and were ready for this seasonís planting programme.
He was disappointed that the Government could conduct such an
operation in the district on grounds that neighbouring districts
had started experiencing insecurity.
In Nakuru, Rift Valley PC Noor Hassan announced the imposition of
a partial curfew in the larger Trans Nzoia District from Monday.
Mr Hassan said districts affected are Trans Nzoia West, Trans
Nzoia East and Kwanza.
The curfew will run until further instructions from the
He said the move follows security threats in the area where 12
people were killed by a militia group recently.