Africa

Tristan Voorspuy, ex-British army officer, killed in Kenya

Tristan Voorspuy Image copyright Offbeat Safaris
Image caption Tristan Voorspuy was in the British army for six years

A former British army officer has been shot dead in Kenya, police in the country have said.

Tristan Voorspuy was killed by pastoral herders on Sunday in Laikipia while inspecting some of his lodges, a local police official told Associated Press.

It follows a pattern of traditional herdsmen invading ranches in the area to seize pasture amid an ongoing drought.

Mr Voorspuy was the founder of luxury safari company Offbeat Safaris.

Martin Evans, chairman of the Laikipia Farmers Association, said Mr Voorspuy was attacked while inspecting a lodge that had been set alight by so-called "land invaders".

When he did not return by Sunday afternoon, an aerial search spotted Mr Voorspuy's injured horse but did not catch sight of the rancher, Mr Evans said.

His body was left at the scene for more than 24 hours owing to the volatile security situation, but it has since been retrieved.

The Kenyan government has ordered the arrest of political leaders suspected of inciting people to commit murder, poaching, cattle rustling and destruction of property.

Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery announced earlier that 379 herders had been arrested as part of police operations.

He said that some local politicians have taken advantage of the movement of cattle herders due to drought conditions in the country's north to incite locals to occupy private property illegally.

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Media captionKenya herdsmen clash with police

Mr Voorspuy was born in South Africa but went to secondary school in the UK, attending Eastbourne College in Sussex.

He was in the British army for six years, leaving in 1981.

After leaving the army, he drove a motorbike from London to Cape Town for nine months, looking for work in Africa.

He created Offbeat Safaris in 1990.

Mombasa-based business Scenic Air Safaris posted a tribute on its Facebook page, saying: "Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife Cindy and family and to his friends and partners at Sosian Lodge and Offbeat Safaris.

"A true officer and a gentleman."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are offering support to the family of the British national who has died in Kenya and we are in touch with local authorities."

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