The Star (Nairobi)

18 December 2012

Kenya: Fears Rise Over 2013 Post-Election Violence

Taita Taveta may be rocked by violence during the campaigns, a peace initiative forum has revealed.

The Taita Resource Centre and Uraia Trust revealed during a two day peace initiative forum in Mwatate town that land is the major cause of conflict in the county.

"Issues of land are a ticking time bomb. All conflicts related to land should be handled with care to avoid possible conflicts," said Paul Oling'a, the program's project officer.

The forum held at the weekend identified conflict prone zones where peace forums will be held to sensitise the communities on the dangers of violence.

Taita Resource Centre director Christopher Mwambingu said a recent study carried out in the area pointed out that Taita is at risk of violence.

"This region has 77 per cent chances of violence erupting. Although we did not observe any serious post-election violence incidents in 2008, tension caused by land based conflicts continue to mount," he said.

Mwambingu said recent attacks in Mariwenyi and Sagalla by herders from North Eastern is a warning sign. He said the recent eviction of squarters from the former Basil Criticos farm in Taveta by the provincial administration is a cause for worry. "We will hold meetings in these areas since all these incidents have come at a time when we are nearing elections," he said.

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