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Youths block Kericho-Kisumu road after protests over Miguna

Wednesday February 7 2018

ANITA CHEPKOECH
By ANITA CHEPKOECH
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Police in Kericho were forced to use teargas to disperse rowdy youth who had blocked the Kericho-Kisumu highway.

Chaos erupted Wednesday shortly after two vehicles arrived in Kericho with shattered windows and dented bodies following continued attacks by rioters in Awasi at the border with Kisumu County.

The chaos started on Tuesday, sparked by the call by Kisumu residents for the release of opposition activist Miguna Miguna who was being held in police cells.

The riots intensified on Wednesday when residents learnt that Mr Miguna had been “deported” to Canada.

RUNNING BATTLES

Following the protests, youths in Kericho retaliated by stoning some Kisumu-bound vehicles and engaged police in running battles saying they were tired of being provoked.

"Our Kisumu neighbours will not cease stoning cars until they understand that their actions result in dire consequences," said one of the youths.

They demanded audience with elected leaders who were at the time holed up in a peace strategy meeting with law enforcers at County Commissioner Muhktar Abdi's office.

Among them were Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, MPs Sylvannus Maritim (Ainamoi), Belgut's Nelson Koech, Kipsengeret Koros of Soin-Sigowet and Hillary Kosgei of Kipkelion West and members of county assembly.

PACIFY PROTESTORS

The leaders later went to the streets to quell the chaos and pacify the angry protesters.

"The border tension experience in Awasi is unfortunate. I empathise with the injured and those who lost their property," said Mr Keter.

"We are engaging with other leaders, administration and communities to seek to restore peace and tranquillity in the area," he added.

The leaders donated over Sh2 million towards repairing the damaged vehicles while urging the residents to maintain peace and order.

They also asked the national government to speed up the building of other roads in the region to avoid disputes along the highway.