May 27, 2022
Police officers during a past operation in Laikipia County.
  • Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has announced the closure of the airspace of select parts of Laikipia County after a high-level security meeting.

    In a statement on Friday, April 1, the CS declared that no one would be allowed to access the airspace of Laikipia Nature Conservancy and its environs for a period of 30 days.

    It was explained that the decision was arrived at given the security concerns that were raised during a National Security Council (NSC) meeting.

    Matiang’i added that the closure would enable the security team in the area to flush out bandits that have been behind a spate of attacks in the region.

    Police officers during a past operation in Laikipia County.
    File

    “The airspace around the Laikipia Nature Conservancy and surrounding area be, and is hereby closed, for the duration of the operation to facilitate the operation,” read the statement in part.

    However, it was revealed that access would only be granted to aircrafts that have been cleared by the Interior Ministry and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

    “No aircraft or any airborne transportation equipment will be allowed into the airspace around Laikipia Nature Conservancy and surrounding environs without the express authority of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. The directive will remain in force for 30 days,” read the statement in part.

    The CS added that great strides had been made in restoring peace in the area since the launch of a multi-agency security operation in the county in 2021.

    However, he noted that the bandits were still getting supplies of arms further declaring parts of the county as disturbed areas.

    “The NSC noted that the ongoing security operation has been successful in stopping banditry incursions and in restoring normalcy in a majority of the areas of the County.

    However, bandits lurking within the environs of the Laikipia Nature Conservancy and surrounding areas continue to wage armed attacks and other criminal activities on innocent Kenyans,” the CS stated.

    The directive by the Matiang’i-led ministry comes after it was reported that the government was investigating a mysterious white chopper spotted in the troubled area.

    Locals in the area told security agencies that they were concerned with the suspicious activities of the chopper. 

    “It seems whoever operates it got wind that the locals were aware of its underhand dealings in the region and it stopped landing. It hovers over the hill and we suspect it drops something before it leaves. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes.

    Immediately after that, we will hear of an attack within the area or in neighbouring villages,†one of the locals stated then.

    Interior CS Fred Matiang'i (left) takes part in construction of a house in Laikipia on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
    Interior CS Fred Matiang’i (left) takes part in construction of a house in Laikipia on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
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  • Source: KENYAGIST.COM

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