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At least 3 dead, 7 injured in Njoro clashes

Aerial view of a section of Mau forest. Photo/CFM-FILE.

NAKURU, Kenya, Sept 13 – At least three people were killed Wednesday night in renewed tribal clashes in Njoro, Nakuru County.

Seven others sustained serious injuries in the attacks that left dozens of houses torched, according to a senior police officer in the region.

“Several people are homeless after the clashes that left 3 people dead,” the officer said.

Houses were torched, and families displaced in the fight that involved two communities who have been affected by the ongoing evictions in the Mau Forest Complex.

Two arrow-riddled bodies were moved to Nakuru County Mortuary on Wednesday evening while the third was taken to Nakuru County Referral Hospital mortuary.

A 17-year-old boy who is admitted at the referral hospital had an arrow removed from his left side of the abdomen, according to police and medics.

Assistant chief of the area, Sammy Kirui confirmed the deaths and attributed the clashes to land conflict.

He however, declined to offer more information and instead referred us to higher authorities.

A resident, Eunice Lelei said trouble started on Tuesday when cattle belonging to one of the Ogiek family were stolen while grazing in the forest.

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“That was a trigger and the community started fighting their neighbouring Kipsigis community accusing them of stealing their livestock and attacking a herder,” she said, and observed that there was a deeper problem on land matters after the government started evicting people from the Mau Forest Complex.

“Those who were beyond the cutline have been demanding justice since the Ogiek sold them that land and now that have been evicted and that is the root cause of all these problems and not the stock theft as they claim,” she said.

A similar problem was experienced in the area between the two groups in 2016.

Nakuru Governor, Lee Kinyanjui has urged locals to be tolerant and coexist peacefully.

“The county government is working with the national government security agents to ensure adequate deployment of personnel to contain the situation,” he said without commenting on the casualties.

Kinyanjui urged the residents to embrace dialogue and reconciliation as a lasting tool to peaceful coexistence.

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