Militia killed in Mt. Elgon
March 6, 2008
By Osinde Obare and Robert Wanyonyi
Two suspected Sabaot Land Defence Force fighters have reportedly
been gunned down.
A police source said the two were shot dead and 10 others arrested
on Tuesday evening in a security operation at Teldet Forest, along
the Trans-Nzoia-Mt Elgon border.
On Monday, police launched a hunt for the SLDF fighters
responsible for the killing of 13 people in Embakasi market in
Trans-Nzoia West District.
The militiamen hacked, shot or burnt to death the victims in their
huts on Monday.
The Government dispatched a helicopter to help track down the
militia in the forest.
Security forces flew over the forest propelling grenades and
intensified ground operation to smoke out the militia.
A source said the fighters were hiding in caves inside the forest
to evade the explosives.
But Kitale OCPD, Mr Bernard Muli, denied knowledge of the killings
and promised to give details of the operation later.
"No casualty has been reported so far, but the operation will
continue until we wipe out these criminals," said Muli.
The district security team summoned local chiefs for a meeting to
discuss the deteriorating security.
DCs, Mr Seif Matata (Trans-Nzoia East), and Francis Mutie (Trans-Nzoia
West), chaired a joint meeting with the chiefs to map out
strategies to fight crime.
Matata said officers had been deployed to patrol Kabolet forest
where suspected Pokot cattle raiders were hiding.
The raiders have attacked residents, killing several and driving
away hundreds of cattle. Police have also released the names of
those killed on Monday.
Meanwhile, the security operation in Mt Elgon District entered its
second day yesterday, with hundreds of residents fleeing to the
surrounding lowlands. As the operation went on yesterday, several
houses in Kisawai were burning.
Mutie said two more helicopters would be arriving from Nairobi to
boost the hunt for the militia.
He announced that the Government had crucial information as well
as names of some politicians believed to be funding the activities
of the SLDF.
Leaders from the local Anglican Church of Kenya had opposed the
police operation, saying innocent people might suffer.
The leaders claimed the security officers were torching houses and
beating up women and children in the name of hunting down the SLDF.
"We are not against efforts to restore law and order in this
region, but we donít want to see police apply the law selectively,"
one man had said.