13 December 2012

Kenya: Team Probing Tana Delta Massacres Gets 30 More Days

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Tana River massacre has been given 30 more days.

The commission will now work until January 15. The extension was given to enable the commission to summon key witnesses adversely mentioned in connection with the violence in which 130 people died and hundreds injured and displaced.

A source confirmed that President Kibaki has granted the commission's request for more time. The 45-day term of the commission expired on December 10, forcing the commission to seek an extension to conclude its work.

"This ( extension) will see the commission conclude comprehensive recommendations as well as bring on board other key witnesses," said the source.

Defence minister Yusuf Hajji has not appeared before the commission despite being served with notices after being mentioned. The commission has since moved its sittings from Maridhiano Hall in Garsen to Bima Towers in Mombasa.

Key witness, among them intelligence officer Guyo Ramadhan, Galole MP Dhadho Godhana, former ambassador Hussein Dado and the Tana Delta DC, have submitted their evidences.

Among the key issues is that land is the bone of contention between pastoralists and farming communities. The Pokomo, who are farmers and Orma who are pastoralists have been feuding over land for grazing and farming.

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