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Two rangers shot dead in Kenya’s Laikipia conservation area


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The rangers, who are police reservists, were killed while trying to recover cattle stolen by nomadic herders. Two game rangers have been shot dead in Kenya’s restive north while on a mission to recover stolen cattle. For the last year, Laikipia, one of Kenya’s most important wildlife regions, has been the scene of vicious farm invasions and battles between private ranch owners and communities bordering them. Tens of people have been killed or injured as a ravaging drought has driven armed nomadic herders into privately owned conservancies and farms. It is also believed the problem is driven by political tensions, in part due to the ethnic and geographic diversity of the area. Laikipia straddles counties divided by those who support the government, and those who oppose it, and tensions are particularly rife as the country prepares for its general election in August. Land invasions have been gathering pace in the last few years, and in many cases wildlife, and those who protect it, are unfortunate victims of the violence. In the most recent incident a group of more than 10 rangers and several other cattle owners pursued stolen heads of cattle after their land had been invaded by pastoralists. The group had reached a village on foot when they were attacked. “They were pursuing seven heads of cattle … The morans [traditional warriors] in the village attacked them thinking they were being attacked,” said Samuel Lekimaroro, the head of security at Northern Rangeland Trust (NRT) conservancy told Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation. John Kisio, a survivor of the attack and owner of some of the cows that were stolen, told the Guardian that the ambush seemed to have been planned. “We told them who we were but they still shot at us,” Kisio said. He escaped with a broken arm and a gunshot wound to the leg. “The two who died were shot from point blank range by the warriors who pursued us for more than a kilometre,” Kisio said, adding that he was saved when a villager intervened and convinced his would-be shooter not to pull the trigger. The rangers were employees from three different ranches in Laikipia. One of the deceased was Panale Lenangoro, who has worked for West Gate conservancy since 2006. He was married and had five children.

Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/06/two-rangers-shot-dead-kenya-laikipia-conservation-area

Posted by on Jun 8 2017. Filed under Wildlife. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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