NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 26 – Newly appointed Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo was expected to tour the troubled Tana River region on Wednesday to have a first-hand account of what transpired when 45 people were shot dead there last week.
Kimaiyo accompanied by Internal Security Minister Katoo Ole Metito, Permanent Secretray Mutea Iringo and CID Director Ndegwa Muhoro flew to Mombasa late Tuesday for security talks with President Mwai Kibaki.
“They will be touring Tana River today, there will be a peace meeting with local elders,” an official accompanying them said.
Sources told Capital FM News that the talks mainly centered on ways of ending sporadic tribal violence in the country and measures to be taken to restore security in the country during this electioneering period.
The security chiefs were expected to hold a peace meeting with members of the Orma and Pokomo to find a lasting solution to their problems which have led to persistent animosity.
“Since the strategy used since August did not work, it is imperative that new ways are devised, that is why there are going there,” another official with knowledge of the Tana River security operation said.
The region has remained tense since last week when tribal clashes between Pokomos and Orma clan members led to deaths of 45 people and displacements of many more.
Villagers have been fleeing their homes for fear of reprisal attacks, although Coast Provincial Police chief Aggrey Adoli has assured them of their safety.
“We have adequate police deployments on the ground, there is no cause for alarm,” Adoli said, referring to the 600-plus strong force of the paramilitary General Service Unit officers patrolling remote villages there.
Antony Kamitu who is heading the GSU team told Capital FM News, “security has been restored, we are closely working with local elders to stress on peaceful co-existence.”
This latest clash is linked to undertones from both communities accusing the government of failing to be neutral in a disarmament exercise that started in August when the Pokomos and Ormas fought—leading to deaths of over 100 people.
Kimaiyo has pledged to restore peace in the region, particularly now that the country is heading to a general election due in March 4, next year.