Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki has declared banditry-prone areas as scenes of crime and ordered all civilians to vacate.
In a statement Sunday, March 12, CS Kindiki gave all residents in the areas 24 hours to leave, with anyone found in the specified areas from Monday, March 13, 2023, to be treated as a suspect of armed banditry, or as a suspect of aiding and abetting banditry.
The CS explained that the government had been forced to upscale security operations in the areas because of the continued attempted attack on the security officers.
Kindiki revealed that in the last seven months, bandits had killed over 135 Kenyans including 20 security officers.
He also noted that hundreds of heavily armed bandits are hiding in remote and inaccessible areas.
“We have found a way around the bad terrain. Therefore, security agencies will now onwards be taking the war to the bandits. We shall flush them out from their hideouts,” the statement read.
“We shall venture and extract them from any forest, cave, gorge, ravine or escarpment within the soil of the Republic of Kenya.”
The areas mapped out for immediate evacuation include Korkoron Hills, Tandare Valley, and Silale Gorges in Baringo County.
Mukogodo Forest; Kamwenje, Warero and Ndonyoriwo; Lekuruki Hills, Losos and Kiape Caves and Sieku Valley in Laikipia County.
Others are Ltungai Conservancy, Longewan, Nasuur, Lochokia, and Lekadaar Escarpments; Lolmolok Caves, Pura Valley, Malaso Escarpment and Suguta Valley in Samburu County in, Malaso, Samburu County.
Kapelbok, Nakwamoru, Lebokat, Ombollion, Nadome and Kamur caves in Turkana County; the Turkwell Escarpment at the interface of West Pokot and Turkana Counties.
“All law-abiding civilians are hereby ordered to vacate the following areas and coordinates immediately and in any case within twenty-four (24) hours effective today, Sunday 12th march 2023 0830 hours.
“The above-specified spaces are hereby declared scenes of crime and any person found therein from Monday 13th March 2023 0830 HOURS will be treated as a suspect of armed banditry, or as a suspect of aiding and abetting banditry, or an accessory after the fact. Everyone must get out,”
The CS has also banned the operation of low-altitude overflight by any other aircraft in areas cutting across different parts of Baringo, Laikipia, Samburu, and Turkana Counties.
“Apart from aircrafts taking part in the ongoing security operation, low altitude overflight by any other aircraft over any of the afore specified areas is hereby banned with effect from Monday, March 13, 2023, until further notice.
He said that all other security measures gazetted on February 13, 2023, as subsequently amended will remain effective.