Sabahi (Washington, DC)

9 January 2013

Kenya: Nine Killed in Renewed Tana River Violence

Renewed clashes between Orma and Pokomo communities in Nduru village in Kenya's Tana River Delta left at least nine people dead and four critically wounded Wednesday (January 9th), AFP reported.

Two of the nine killed were believed to be from the attackers, who launched a raid on the Orma village about an hour before dawn, said Caleb Kilunde, a local Kenya Red Cross official.

"The situation remains volatile ... with rumours of a revenge attack being planned," he said, adding that three people were critically wounded with deep cuts to the head.

Initially eight were reported dead, but the toll later rose to nine after one died in hospital, leaving four critically wounded, the Red Cross said.

Police said members of both the Orma and Pokomo communities were killed in Wednesday's incident, bringing the number of dead to more than 140 since clashes began last year. The largest clashes occurred in September, when more than 100 people were killed.

The scale and intensity of recent killings -- with women and children hacked to death or torched in their huts -- has shocked many, with some locals accusing politicians of encouraging the attacks.

"Major causes of the violence are unequal resource allocation and political meddling," said Milly Lwanga of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, an independent body set up after Kenya's 2007-2008 post-election violence. "Politicians are using the impoverished populations on the ground to create rifts among the two communities."

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