Military to quell clashes in Mt Elgon
Published on March 10, 2008, 12:00 am
By Biketi Kikechi
Eldoret Airstrip was turned into a military base after hundreds of officers landed in preparation of today’s operation in Mt Elgon District.
Hundreds of residents jammed the Eldoret-Iten road to witness the mobilisation of troops, most of them from Gilgil.
Among the aircraft to be used in the operation are two Puma and three attack helicopters, and seven canons towed by camouflaged Land Rovers.
“They are heading for Mt Elgon tonight,” said former Keiyo South MP, Mr Nicholas Biwott, who was at the airstrip.
Last week, the Government announced it would flush out members of Sabaot Land Defence Force.
The ragtag militia group, which claims to fight for land, has killed about 546 people in the past one-and-a-half years.
The soldiers were to be moved to the area under the cover of darkness in a fleet of more than 40 trucks.
Also in the fleet were two ambulances and trucks carrying food, a fuel tanker and ammunition.
The attack helicopters flew to Mt Elgon at about 6pm, minutes before a Bufalo transport plane arrived with more soldiers from Gilgil.
Sources said the contingent comprises the army, paramilitary police and Administration Police officers, and parachute squad from Gilgil.
The soldiers cooked lunch at the airstrip before meeting their commanders for briefing.
Residents of Mt Elgon asked the Government not to punish innocent people.
While appreciating the move, they feared the soldiers might injure non combatants.