Tension is high on the Kenya-South Sudan border, with over 300 families fleeing their manyattas after four people were shot dead by Toposa raiders in Lokichogio at the weekend.

Lokichogio Ward Administrator Obed Echip on Tuesday said there were three successive raids between Friday and Sunday, with further intelligence reports indicating that the attackers were regrouping for more raids.

The most horrific raid occurred on Saturday, when three people were killed at the Lodwat grazing field.

They were a woman, a police reservist and a herder.

Five people, including a police reservist, were critically injured and the officer succumbed to his injuries on arrival at Lopiding Sub-County Hospital.

The villagers told the county official that there were more than 100 raiders, who he said were well co-ordinated and heavily armed.

FOOD APPEAL

The Sunday raid at Kaawoi occurred even after a contingent of the General Police Unit, National Police Reservists, Administration Police and Rapid Deployment Unit soldiers based at Nadapal along the border had already stepped up border patrols.

The forces recovered all the stolen animals and saved two boys who had been abducted but were left unharmed as the attackers crossed into South Sudan.

The displaced families have now found their way to Lokichoggio Town centre, where they are appealing for food, utensils, water and shelter.

Lokichoggio Peace Organisation Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Eregae said they had contacted the South Sudan Civil Society Organisation to talk to border residents on the need to coexist peacefully.

The attackers, Mr Eregae said, are regrouping to carry out another raid, but he thanked the security personnel for keeping up in border patrols.

LEADERS’ CALL

He said residents had moved further towards the border in search of pasture and water following a prolonged dry spell, exposing them to attacks.

The most deserted manyattas are Nyiloloki and Nyikoporia.

Local leaders, led by Turkana Woman Representative Joyce Emanikor and Turkana South MP James Lomenen, condemned the attacks by the South Sudanese.

Mrs Emanikor attributed the attacks to the porous Kenya-South Sudan border and poor road and communication networks that make police patrols difficult.

Mr Lomenen appealed to Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinett to deploy more security officers to the area and arm them with sophisticated weapons to match the raiders’ firepower.

A team of county government officials, led by Deputy Governor Peter Lokoel, visited Lokichoggio on Tuesday to assess the humanitarian situation.

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