19 February 2013

Kenya: Rustlers Displace 570 Residents in Kuria Raids

Over 570 people have been displaced following clashes between Abanyabasi and Abairege clans in Kuria East district after cattle rustling attacks over the weekend. Two people were hacked to death with pangas during the raid.

Police in the area and neighbouring Kuria West district have not arrested any suspect or recovered the stolen cattle. Emmanuel Owako, the Red Cross Regional Coordinator, said families had fled to Tharagani and Girigiri chiefs' camps. "People fled the clashes after 40 homesteads were razed and three people rushed to hospital. A number of victims sustained minor injuries and have been treated," Owako said.

"We have been giving the displaced basic household items and food. We expect them to return home. We are also offering treatment to the injured," Owako said.

Kuria East police boss Gladys Ogonda said calm had been restored after increased patrols by regular, administration and anti-stock theft police officers. No suspect has been arrested or any cattle recovered.

"A total of 25 cows, 15 goats, five sheep and two donkeys were driven to neighbouring Kuria West district and we are still trailing them," Ogonda said.

He said attempts to recover the stolen cattle have been frustrated by poor roads as officers are required to abandon vehicles and track the gangsters on foot.

The last weekend incident comes barely a week after a man was killed and several others injured after armed Abanyabasi clan members attacked their Abairege rivals with guns and crude weapons at Magena village.

The raid spilled over to Trans Mara before police recovered 47 out of 72 head of cattle stolen by members of the Abanyabasi clan from Abairege. The robbers sparked sporadic fighting at Kugitimo village along the Trans Mara border.

Last month, Dominic Nyansia, 18, was shot dead while a relative, Isaac Nyansia, was injured by armed rustlers from Abairege during an attack at Chinato location. The attackers fled with over 20 head of cattle. The teenager was gunned down as he and other youngsters tried to recover stolen cattle from bandits.

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