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September 23, 2018

Narok politicians under probe as cops contain ethnic clashes

Residents of Ololoibangi in Narok South sub county during a peace meeting on Saturday.Photo Kiplangat Kirui
Residents of Ololoibangi in Narok South sub county during a peace meeting on Saturday.Photo Kiplangat Kirui

Security officers have restored order in Narok South following skirmishes that left three people dead last week.

Thirty-three people suffered serious arrow injuries, raising tension between two communities living in Nkoiben, Sagam, Olmegenyu and Oloilabangi near Maasai Mau Forest. More than 60 houses were torched.

The clashes erupted after a herder was killed in Nkoiben.

Yesterday, county commissioner George Natembea said more than 300 police officers were deployed to contain the situation.

They have intensified patrols and work round the clock to avert further conflicts.

Natembea warned leaders against inciting their communities to violence. The administrator said those found complicit would be arrested and prosecuted.

“We’ve beefed up security and are investigating some politicians,” he said on the phone.

Natembea did not name anyone but added that investigations were under way and they would not want the suspects to compromise the process. They also seek to establish if the conflict had anything to do with Mau Forest evictions.

Residents have been warned against walking in groups or holding meetings.

On Friday, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet ordered that politicians be probed for fuelling the clashes.

“I’ve received very disturbing information that while security teams are working hard to contain the violence, some politicians are undermining these efforts,” he tweeted.

Learning and trade have been disrupted as more than 15 primary schools and five shopping centres have been closed.

Many families fled their homes and have camped in the schools. They still fear for their lives despite the return of normalcy.

The targeted warring groups are said to be using the Olposimoru Forest as their hideout. They have been evading police.

Meanwhile, Natembea said the second phase of evictions of Mau Forest settlers will resume.

During the first phase, 8,860 people and 3,000 livestock were driven out. Only crops were spared. Owners will return to harvest once they are ready. Makeshift stalls in 14 shopping centres were demolished and about 11,120 acres secured.

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