Tension grips Kom, Isiolo, after herders' gun battle

Monday March 20 2017

Camels walk along the Isiolo-Moyale highway on

Camels walk along the Isiolo-Moyale highway on January 25, 2017. Security has been heightened in the conflict-prone area of Kom in Isiolo following Sunday clash between herders. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP. 

By VIVIAN JEBET
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Tension has gripped Kom area in Isiolo County following Sunday clashes that left 10 people and 20 cows dead.

The fierce gun fight over grazing land between Borana and Samburu herders also left one injured.

20 CATTLE

By mid Monday, some of the pastoralists from Samburu and Borana communities were yet to collect bodies of their colleagues who were killed for burial or preservation in the mortuary.

Some of the 20 cattle that were shot dead were still lying at the battle field, about 100 kilometres from Isiolo town.

Merti Deputy County Commissioner Julius Maiyo told the Nation that the herders could not access the area to collect the bodies due to fear of revenge attacks.

"Only one body has been taken for burial in Merti while three others have been taken by Samburu morans," he added.

Security has been heightened in the area to prevent retaliatory attacks.

15 DEAD

The movement of armed herders from neighbouring counties into the area in search of water and pasture for their livestock has sparked tension.

On Sunday, about 100 armed bandits from Borana community in Isiolo attacked Samburu herders who had migrated from Samburu County with their livestock.

No suspect has been arrested in connection with the skirmishes.

So far, about 15 people have been killed and several injured in Kom since the nomads invaded the area with their animals.