17 October 2017

Kenya: Tension as Ruto Tours Migori

Deputy President William Ruto's tour of Migori County on Tuesday has been preceded by simmering tensions between local communities.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was to be accompanied by Mr Ruto in the tour but he skipped the rallies.

The first rally was held at Ntimaru in Kuria East constituency and the other one at the new sub-county of Mabera.

On Monday, three people were injured in a fresh round of skirmishes between the Luo and the Kuria communities living in Migori County.

KURIA

The trio were injured in Karamu village, located at the border of Suna West and Kuria West constituencies. One motorcycle was burnt in the Monday evening incident.

By Tuesday morning, tension as still high at Namba area along the Isebania-Migori road in Kuria West.

Kuria West MP Mathias Robi blamed leaders from Migori town for having a hand in the conflict and inciting the youth.

He argued there could be a repeat unless the leaders from both sides agree to end the tension.

The two sides have had simmering differences, centred on politics; with the Luos accusing the Kuria of siding with the Jubilee administration while the latter claim Luos have taken all the important political posts in the County, marginalising them.

ARMED YOUTH

On Tuesday, there were very few public vehicles plying the Migori - Isebania and Migori - Kehancha youths for fear of being attacked by the armed youths.

Regular and administration police were deployed to the troubled area on Monday evening and were still keeping vigil Tuesday.

"The situation is now calm and we are asking the two communities to live peacefully. They have co-existed since independence and nothing should antagonise them now," said Mr Benedict Kigen, the Migori County CID boss.

"We will not tolerate people who want to sabotage peace in this county," he said.

HOSPITAL

A hospital owned by the former Migori Senator Wilfred Machage - Pastor Machage Memorial Hospital in Migori Town - was under 24-security surveillance following fears that it could be razed down by youths.

Suna West MP Peter Masaras called for peace and existence between the two communities.

"The Kuria and the Luo have been like brothers and sisters. Let us not fight due to politics," he said.

The Luo council of elders chairman in Migori County John Ben Omollo called for peace in the area saying the two communities are inter-related through marriages and should not fight over political differences.

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