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Herders face eviction from park

Thursday November 13 2014

Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo during an interview in Nairobi on February 5, 2014. Authorities will take severe action against anyone found fuelling conflict between communities, Governor Doyo has warned. PHOTO | FILE |

Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo during an interview in Nairobi on February 5, 2014. Authorities will take severe action against anyone found fuelling conflict between communities, Governor Doyo has warned. PHOTO | FILE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Herders grazing animals at Isiolo National Park have up to Friday to vacate or be evicted.

Isiolo County Commissioner Wanyama Musiambo said pastoralists who will be found inside the park past the deadline will be arrested.

The directive follows fighting between herders from two warring communities who met at the park on Tuesday. Eight people died in the fight and four were injured.

“The herders have 24 hours to remove their cows from the park as they are there illegally. The park is meant for wildlife and tourists,” Mr Musiambo told the Nation by phone. He also denied reports that Turkanas and Samburus fought on Tuesday.

“They were not tribal clashes. Herders clashed inside the park. It is unfortunate we lost eight people,” said Mr Musiambo.

The commissioner said calm had returned to Ngaremara area, which was hit by protests on Wednesday night .

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“The whole county is very calm. Normality has returned. People are continuing their business as usual,” said Mr Musiambo.

Stones and tyres that had been used to block the Isiolo-Marsabit road have been cleared. He said police were keeping vigil and asked residents to avoid revenge attacks.

“There should be no revenge from either side. People should keep calm,” said Mr Musiambo.

The county commissioner, who led a security team to Loruko, where the herders clashed on Tuesday, said eight bodies were taken to Isiolo mortuary.

A post-mortem exam will be carried out before the bodies are released to relatives.

The four injured herders are still in hospital, said Mr Musiambo.

INCREASED SURVEILLANCE

Isiolo governor Godana Doyo called for increased surveillance and patrols to flush out bandits.

He said the county government would engage leaders and community elders to initiate dialogue between warring communities, with the aim of fostering unity.

The governor also assured the visitors that adequate security measures had been put in place to ensure safety of tourists visiting the game reserves.
He said a contingent of game rangers was patrolling the vast game reserve to ensure visitors are safe.

The county government will initiate inter-community peace forums to foster harmony and reconciliation.

LAPSSET CORRIDOR

The residents called on the government to ensure the security of all communities in the area since most of them were disarmed in 2007.

Peace and stability in Isiolo is crucial for the country’s development as it is one of the key areas where the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor will pass.

The county is to further host a resort city and an international airport, which is under construction, as part of Vision 2030.