Hundreds flee their homes in latest wave of violence between Samburu and Turkanas

November 9, 2016 3:14 pm
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Afraid for their safety, mostly women and children, sought refuge at a school/CFM
Afraid for their safety, mostly women and children, sought refuge at a school/CFM

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 — More than 450 families are camping at Ainamoi, Kapkures and OMC primary school with no food and shelter, after they were displaced in Rumuruti following tribal conflicts between Turkana and Samburu communities.

Seven people have been killed and two others are nursing serious injuries after Samburu and Turkana pastoralists clashed over grazing land.

The Turkana community blame their Samburu neighbours for invading their grazing ground but have since held a peace meeting with Laikipia Governor Mwangi Irungu and County Commissioner Mwangi Chege in Nanyuki, where they were ordered to surrender all illegal firearms to the government.

“It is all over and it is largely political,” he said. “I urge all leaders to forge unity and we must live in this county. We all have a right to stay in this county.”

The governor has however accused a section of local politicians of inciting the communities in search of votes ahead of next year’s General Elections.

According to security agencies, the situation has worsened because most officers are manning the ongoing KCSE exams.

The Turkana community has alleged that more than 400 heads of cattle have been stolen since the conflict erupted.

Tension is also high along Kisumu-Kericho border after a resident of Nyakach was killed early Wednesday morning by cattle rustlers.

According to a local resident, the deceased was killed by an arrow as they pursued the rustlers.

– Cattle rustling Menace –

Recently Deputy President William Ruto Valley on tours of Elgeyo-Marakwet, Baringo and West Pokot to told communities in the valley that the Government would not stand for the resurgence of cattle rustling.

But despite his assurances, more incidents have been reported in the region where locals accuse police of failing to protect them.

Local newspaper Daily Nation on Monday said the “region has more guns than spoons”.

The government has lately deployed additional security officers to the valley—including the recruitment of 3,200 Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) to boost efforts in the war against cattle rustling.

“It is pointless to have police officers in shopping centers while criminals are attacking people from known valleys. Police must be stationed where criminals are coming from,” Ruto said.

It is yet to be seen whether the latest interventions will be fruitful.

In 2012, 42 police officers were killed during an ambush by cattle rustlers in Suguta Valley, Samburu in one of the worst attacks on law enforcement agencies.

Another hot spot in the country is the Kibigori border of Kisumu and Nandi counties.

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