Kenya Deploys Soldiers in Samburu to Fight Northern Insecurity

Kenya sent soldiers to northern Samburu County in a move to boost security in a region facing inter-clan conflicts over resources and power.

The soldiers whose deployment was approved by parliament last month, arrived in Samburu on Jan. 10, Defense Secretary Raychelle Omamo said, according to a Kenya Gazette notice today.

Armed cattle rustlers killed at least 42 police officers in an ambush in November 2012 in the Baragoi area of Samburu, which is inhabited by Samburu and Turkana livestock herders. Samburu is one of 47 counties created last year when the state introduced a new layer of government, stoking competition for political power and exacerbating ethnic tensions.

In December, Interior Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku said the army had sent security personnel to places in the north, including the towns of Moyale, Turkana and Pokot, where “insecurity has been a problem.” The government has received reports that religious leader are trying to “radicalize” youth and use them to stir unrest,’’ Ole Lenku said.

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