Three dead, one hurt in row over pasture in Isiolo

Sunday January 24 2016

Kenya Police reservists arrive at Leparua on the Isiolo-Laikipia border on January 23, 2016 after clashes between Samburu and Ndorobo morans. Two people have been arrested following Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery’s order against individuals said to be behind between the border communities of Samburu and Dorobo. PHOTO | VIVIAN JEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Police reservists arrive at Leparua on the Isiolo-Laikipia border on January 23, 2016 after clashes between Samburu and Ndorobo morans. Two people have been arrested following Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery’s order against individuals said to be behind between the border communities of Samburu and Dorobo. PHOTO | VIVIAN JEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VIVIAN JEBET
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Three people died and one was seriously injured after Samburu and Ndorobo morans clashed over grazing land at Leparua on the Isiolo-Laikipia border.

Sixty cows stolen during Saturday’s clash were recovered following a joint effort by the public and the police.

However, tension was high last evening as both sides were reported to be regrouping in readiness for retaliatory attacks.

Isiolo Deputy County Commissioner Kipchumba Rutto said a contingent of police officers had been deployed to the area to restore peace.

Mr Rutto said attempts by the Samburus to push the Ndorobos out of one of the grazing areas in the region was the cause of the conflict.

“The Samburus attacked the Ndorobos as they grazed their animals in the disputed area. We have previously had several plans to negotiate but the Samburu side has always snubbed meetings,” said Mr Rutto.

The DCC later held a peace meeting between the two communities and said investigations into the dispute had started.

But Mr James Kipsoi, a resident, accused some unnamed politicians of causing tribal animosity in their hunt for votes.

“We have been living together peacefully. But now, a section of Samburus are after our animals,” he said.

The bodies were taken to the Isiolo Hospital Mortuary.

Elsewhere, relative calm and ease is returning to Narok North sub-county after security personnel recovered the 44 cows that were stolen by raiders from Olopirik village.

The raiders had made away with the animals that were said to have been on the grazing fields and driven them deep into the expansive Mau Forest on Thursday.

They were found at Kass FM section after a 12-hour search by the police.

SEARCH OPERATIONS

A contingent of police officers drawn from the regular, General Service Unit (GSU) and Administration Police officers (AP) from the three counties of Kuresoi, Bomet and Narok, led by Narok County Commissioner Magu Mutindika, pursued the raiders over a distance of about 100 km.

They used a helicopter deployed by the Interior Cabinet SecretaryJoseph Nkaissery.

Another team led by Narok South police boss Phillip Kipkurui had to walk for eight hours to Kosia and Kass FM areas where the cows had been hidden.

The police were accompanied by more than 300 herders from Olokurto, Entiyani, Olpusimoru, Nkokolani and Kilapa areas.

Mr Mutindika said local police were dispatched to pursue the raiders, both on foot, vehicles and by air to neutralise rising tension between the two neighbouring communities.

According to the Narok County security committee, the incident is a big blow to the peace process and stability that was being midwifed between the two communities following the Olpusimoru clashes that left four people dead.

Additional reporting by George Sayagie