Chaos masterminds given two-week amnesty
Posted Wednesday, October 24 2012 at 22:30
Tension came before clashes
- Sleepless nights: Kipini DO told the commission that officers had sleepless nights as tension between Ormas and Pokomos rose.
- Theft and suspicion: A pastoralist was stabbed and children said they saw armed men at nearby forest but the officers could not find them.
Those who are causing chaos in Coast have been given a two-week amnesty to surrender or risk a government crackdown. Read (19 illegal guns seized in Tana as GSU moves to disarm militiamen)
The amnesty offer was announced on Wednesday by Internal Security Minister Katoo Ole Metito when he received a group of 79 youths from Tana River who turned themselves in and pledged to cooperate with the government.
“Those who surrender and give vital information that will help bring cohesion among different warring communities in the region will be treated differently,” he said.
His offer came as two MPs are on Thursday set to be interrogated by the commission investigating the Tana Delta clashes that led to the death of 112 people and the displacement of 12,000 others.
Galole MP Dhadho Godhana and his Garsen counterpart Danson Mungatana have been adversely mentioned by witnesses appearing before the team.
In Mombasa, the 79 people who surrendered have been living in Kisauni and other areas and presented themselves to the minister at the Coast PC’s office, where he was holding a leaders’ peace meeting.
The group told the leaders that they are ready to go back to their native land and support ongoing peace activities to avert any clashes in future.
Mr Bakari Abaye, one of the youths, said they have been hiding because they were being targeted by the police who are disarming residents of Tana Delta.
“We decided to come out and share information on what transpired during the clashes. We shall also try to reconcile other communities,” he said.
During the meeting that was also attended by Internal Security PS Mutea Iringo, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere, and all Coast provincial security heads, the minister said that the government had launched a peace caravan that will move across the region preaching harmony.
“We will start in Kwale before heading to Kilifi and Tana Delta next week,” said Mr Metito.
Some of the youths who spoke at the meeting blamed failure by the government to involve the youth in sensitive issues like resettlement as one of the triggers of the violence.
“The scramble for land in Tana Delta is the main cause of clashes. That is why we are calling on the government to involve the youth in the resettlement that is expected to start soon,” he said.
Mr Iringo on his part warned the youth against joining Al-Shaabab and promised the government will deal with the group’s sympathisers.
In Tana River, MPs Godana and Mungatana are to appear before the commission investigating recent clashes which is sitting at Maridhiano CBO hall on Thursday and Friday.
Through lawyer Kamoti Mwamkale, Mr Godana was allowed limited participation following a successful application on Monday.
Lady Justice Nzioka also warned government officials summoned to appear before the commission to do so or face unspecified action.