13 September 2018

Kenya: Mau Clashes Leave 400 Families Homeless

Photo: Ayub Muiyuro/Daily Nation
Some of the displaced families camping at Sigaon Academy in Nessuit, Eastern Mau, Nakuru County on September 13,2018.

Security agencies have arrested three suspects over the tribal clashes in Nessuit area of Eastern Mau in Nakuru County.

Three people were killed while 10 are nursing arrow injuries at Nakuru Level 4 Hospital following the clashes between Kipsigis and Ogiek communities.

HEAVY SECURITY

Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha said a heavy contingent of security personnel is patrolling the area to avert skirmishes.

“I assure the public that police are alert. They are ready to deal with any violence," said Mr Nkanatha.

Molo Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) Bernard Kioko Muinde, who is among top security officials leading the team, confirmed the arrests.

The suspects are being held at Elburgon police station and are helping police with investigations.

Mr Muinde added that they have recovered 69 pieces of free class one laptops that from a house belonging to a local politician in the area.

UPROOTED

Already, more than 400 families are camping at Sigaon Academy in the area as they were uprooted from their homes when the violence broke out on Wednesday night.

The men, women and their children fled in fear of being attacked.

Mr Sammy Kirui, the area assistant chief, said the clashes followed a dispute over the ownership of the land on the edges of Mau Forest.

Local leaders led by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui have urged the security personnel to contain the situation.

"This is matter of grave concern so I appeal to the government to ensure sanity is restored," said Mr Kinyanjui.

He noted that the fresh conflict seems closely linked to the ongoing Mau Forest evictions that have left three people dead, several others injured and houses torched.

"I urge affected residents to demonstrate tolerance and peaceful co-existence in order to calm the tensions," added Mr Kinyanjui. "Residents must embrace dialogue and reconciliation as the lasting tools to peaceful co-existence."

UTMOST PROTECTION

Governor Kinyanjui said lives and property of the people must be accorded utmost protection from incitement and aggression from self-seekers.

"I urge the investigative agents to work with the community to bring the perpetrators to book. The cost of conflict is too high for all of us, " stated Mr Kinyanjui.

Kajiado County Governor Joseph ole Lenku has asked state security agencies to immediately rein on politicians fanning ethnic clashes in Narok and Nakuru counties.

Governor Lenku said the political must not be allowed to divert attention from the ongoing reclamation of the Mau Complex as it is an unstoppable project.

He appealed to Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to ensure the evictions continue.

“We want to see the same zeal being applied on corruption replicated in the Mau evictions. This is the time to address the matter to its tangible conclusion,” he said.

THE VICTIMS

Among the 10 admitted at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital include 26-year-old Peter Rop, from Sigaon village in Nessuit area, who cannot lie on the bed because of an arrow in his head.

Mr Rop, a boda boda operator, told the Nation that he was ferrying a passenger from Keringet to Sigaon when he was shot in the head by unknown people.

“I was ferrying a passenger at around 4pm. I did not have my helmet. I was shot in the head just as I arrived at Sigaon village. I was brought to the hospital by some friends,” he said.

Another victim, 18-year-old Nicholas Kepkemoi, who was shot in the leg, is also due to undergo surgery at the hospital.

According to hospital superintendent, Dr Joseph Mburu, 10 people were taken to the facility at about 9pm on Wednesday, and one treated and discharged.

“Two of the patients are in critical condition, with one of them is in the Intensive Care Unit(ICU) with an arrow lodged in the skull.Four other victims who are seriously injured require specialised treatment.

Dr Mburu said the victims were in critical conditions.

“One was taken to the theater and ended up in the ICU. Four still have arrow heads in their bodies and are being examined before they can be removed,” added Dr Mburu.

The Nation confirmed that two of the bodies were taken to Nakuru County mortuary. Police are yet to confirm the location of the third one.

Several timber houses and businesses premises were torched during the clashes that rocked the villages of Musegekwa, Tiritagoi and Ndoswa.

In addition, learning has been paralysed in the area as more than 10 schools have been closed.

They include Sigaon Academy, Ogiek Secondary, Ogiek Primary, Tiritagoi Primary, Nessuit Primary, Nessuit Secondary, Mesibei Primary, Musegekwa Primary, Musegekwa Secondary, Cheptoroi Primary and Cheptoroi Secondary.

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