Tension high in Turkana after residents break into oil storage site

Written By: KBC Reporters

Demonstrators block oil trucks from the Ngamia 8 site in Lokichar, Turkana County,

Tension is high in Turkana as angry residents violently assumed control of Ngamia 8 oil storage site.

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The residents are protesting alleged runaway insecurity at their border with Baringo.

They evicted the security guards manning the area vowing to ground operations at the site until security is restored.

This comes barely 48 hours after they blocked the transportation of oil from Turkana to Mombasa.

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The residents have been backed by a section of Turkana leaders who resolved to block further transportation of oil from Ngamia 8 to Changamwe Refinery in Mombasa until their demands that include assuring residents of their security are met.

Addressing protesters outside the gate of Africa Camp Solution at Kapese, Turkana South MP James Lomenen and Turkana East MP Mohammed Ali Lokiru said that the five trucks that were blocked by residents at Kalemngorock along Lokichar- Kapenguria road won’t leave for Mombasa until all livestock that was stolen in four separate raids are recovered and bandits who killed innocent residents are also shot dead.

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Block oil trucks

The MPs who were accompanied by MCAs James Abei (Katilu), David Erukudi (Lobokat), Peter Edung (Kalapata) and former Turkana South parliamentary seat aspirant Jumapili Elim said that oil sites and trucks are given more security than the local community.

“The responsibility of any government is to assure citizens of their security and that of their property. Why is that Turkana residents are being killed in banditry attack and no action is being taken?” Mr. Lomenen asked.

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“We respected the government and President Uhuru Kenyatta by allowing for smooth historic flagging of four trucks on June 3.

But our demand for security that forced the President to issue a shoot to kill order on bandits with illegal firearms has not been addressed and instead more people are being killed near Ngamia 8,” he added.

He noted that no oil will leave the county because locals have been denied decent jobs as majority are working as cleaners and watchmen.

Mr Lokiru who had spent three days at Kamuge, the scene of the latest banditry attack where one person was killed said that for the last four days there was no presence of security personnel.

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Mr Lokiru said that tender to supply fuel for oil operations must be given to a local company and not a government parastatal.

The leaders said that it was ironic that Turkana East and Turkana South sub-counties where oil is found are the most insecure places in Kenya despite being a region where the shoot-to-kill order was issued.

Leaders and residents claim they were not opposed to oil transportation but they want to ensure they are heard and their demands met.



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