16 September 2018

Kenya: Calm Returns in Njoro After Deadly Clashes in Eastern Mau

An uneasy calm has returned clash-torn Nessuit and Mauche areas in Eastern Mau Forest after four days of violence.

This is after the government dispatched more than 400 police officers to quell the skirmishes that claimed five lives.

LAPTOPS

Scores of people were left nursing injuries after members of two rival communities fought over ownership of land on the edges of Mau Forest.

Several timber houses and businesses premises were torched during the clashes as learning was paralysed in the area.

A spot-check by the Nation on Sunday morning revealed a heavy presence of police at affected areas of Nessuit, Mauche, Kaprop, Kapkalang, Block Ten, Vikingi Tatu, Mariashoni, Musegekwa, Tiritagoi and Ndoswa.

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On Saturday, Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Mongo Chimwaga asked hundreds of families that had sought refuge in schools-- including Sigaon Academy, Ogiek Secondary, Ogiek Primary, Tiritagoi Primary, Nessuit Primary, Nessuit Secondary, Mesibei Primary and Musegekwa Primary-- to return to their homes and allow the institutions to open on Monday.

At least two politicians, including Nakuru Deputy Speaker Samuel Tonui, have been arrested in connection with the violence.

The two and three others are being held for inciting violence in Nessuit and Mauche areas and will be charged in Nakuru on Monday.

Police found 69 pieces of free school laptops that were hidden in a house belonging to one of the suspects.

LEADERS

Meanwhile, residents want the government to construct permanent police stations in volatile Kaprop and Nessuit areas to avert future clashes.

The residents, led by the Ogiek Council of Elders chairman Joseph Towett, said police would help end cattle rustling.

"We expect these posts to improve security in the affected areas and tackle any other form of crime," he said.

"The government should act immediately and construct police posts, with modern housing units."

On Sunday, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and area MP Charity Kathambi urged the residents of the affected areas to be tolerant.

"I urge the residents to maintain peace and stop bloodshed. Issues of land can be sorted out by the law. They must embrace dialogue and reconciliation," said Mr Kinyanjui.

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