Cattle rustling and banditry has been a major threat to peace in Kenya for many years. In the history of Kenya, cattle rustling has caused deaths of people including security officers, destruction of property and displacement of people. It has also been a major cause of conflicts between communities.
However the worst happened in November 2012 when 42 police officers were killed by bandits who were stealing cattle in Baragoi. The police officers were ambushed by heavily armed bandits who opened fire leaving very many police officers dead.
The incident still remains fresh in the minds of many people and is said to be the worst single attack on the police officers since Kenya attained independence.
The incident which occurred during the Former President Mwai Kibaki's government raised concern on the level of preparedness by the Kenya's security units. Concern was also raised over the frightening capacity of firepower the bandits had as compared to that of the police officers.
After President Uhuru Kenyatta took over, his administration worked hard towards empowering the security agencies in the country by ensuring that the police officers and other security units are very well equipped.
Some of the equipments the government obtained including the armoured personnel carriers and better firearms that are currently being used in Laikipia County to flush out the bandits. The government’s strategy of attaining heavy security equipment and machinery is said to have been promoted by the Baragoi attack which killed over forty police officers.
The Baragoi attack in Samburu shook the government’s security machinery to the core. Suguta Valley was then declared as a very deadly area. It's rugged topography made the valley to become a death trap just like the current incident that is being experienced in Laikipia Nature Conservancy.
Those who survived the Baragoi massacre revealed how hundreds of bandits ambushed a police lorry which was carrying 50 police officers from GSU, AP and Regular Police units. The police were on a mission pursuing stolen livestock. The bandits who attacked and killed the 42 police officers were said to have "sophisticated” weapons. This term has also been used by senior security officers while referring to the ongoing operation in Ol Moran Laikipia County where the Rift Valley regional commissioner had stated that bandits have heavy and sophisticated weapons.
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