Attempts by Tristan Voorspuy’s family to recover the body of the British rancher, had to be abandoned after they were stopped by Kenyan police from entering the area due to the volatile security situation in the region.
On Monday, Voorspuy’s friends and family had unsuccessfully mobilised two helicopters and two armoured cars to retrieve his body from the area described by local media as too dangerous. The first attempt to recover the body from the scene the day before, also had to be abandoned after shots were fired at the deceased’s family.
The South African born British citizen was shot dead by pastoral herders on Sunday (5 March) in Laikipia while inspecting damage to a house on his Sosian ranch, situated 118 miles north of Nairobi, which had reportedly been set on fire. The British government sent an email out to subscribers drawing attention to the incident, in an attempt to raise awareness of the volatile situation.
The battle for water and pasture in drought-ravaged Kenya has spilled over into violence between armed cattle herders from rival tribes, with both people and wildlife caught in the crossfire.
Kenya’s most important wildlife conservancies and private farms have been facing “armed incursions” by thousands of herders in the Laikipia county as the pastorialists search for food and water for their livestock.
Although officials have blamed the land invasions on the drought, ranchers claim the land invasions are politically motivated, and part of a coordinated strategy to take over their land.
Others allege the violence is connected to the forthcoming general elections, believing local candidates could benefit from a change in the population dynamics.