State deploys police to end clashes - Daily Nation

Govt deploys police to end clashes

Monday July 18 2016

Warring groups

A section of the warring groups convene at Pimbinyiet on July 15, 2016. A squabble between two elders in Nkararo area has led to a fierce fight between the Siria and Wuasi Nkishu Maasai clans. PHOTO | RUTH MBULA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By RUTH MBULA
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The national government has dispatched police officers to assuage the skirmishes between Kipsigis and Maasai communities that have now entered the fourth day.

At least three houses were torched overnight in the raging conflict that has seen two people killed and several injured, among them a pupil.

The two communities have been clashing since Thursday last week along Pimpinyet Border Township, after a member of the Kipsigis was gunned down by an armed band of warriors.

A teenager was injured on the shoulder with an arrow during the fighting that dragged into the late hours of Thursday night.

Pimbinyiet Assistant Chief John Rono told the Nation that the houses were torched by people believed to be from Trans Mara East Sub-County.

“A group of people invaded some houses near Mogor area and set them ablaze. They fled soon after accomplishing their mission,” he said.

The administrator said the burning of houses may have been intended to spread more tension to other areas near the border.

“We are in control and we believe the situation will not run out of hand. We will not allow the violence to spread to neighbouring locations,” the chief said.

The two communities have been wrangling for the last decade over a piece of land.

Hundreds of youth from both sides, armed with weapons such as bows and arrows, have been antagonising each other since the onset of the clashes last week.

“It is like the screaming is spontaneous, and seems to ignite the warring groups into more fighting,” said Chief Rono.

Elsewhere burial plans for one of the man who was killed at Pimpinyiet have begun at his home in Mogor.

Mr Matthew Kiplangat Bett was shot dead while others were injured when a gang attacked customers drinking tea at a cafeteria in Pimpinyet Township.

One of the injured, Mr Aaron Kipkoech Langat, who sustained bullet wounds on both of his hands is recuperating at Tenwek Mission hospital. His condition is said to be stable.

A resident who sought anonymity for security reasons accused some politicians of fanning the animosities.

“We wonder why we are fighting in this century. We have lived together as neighbours despite the usual problems here and there,” he said.

He added that politicians were using a few people to perpetrate criminal activities with the intent of causing insecurity by inciting the communities to engage in retaliatory attacks.

Learning in schools has been affected with pupils also fleeing from their homes. The government has sent a contingent of General Service Unit and AP officers to help quell the violence.

The warriors have also engaged police in running battles as they evade arrest. Villagers reported sporadic gun shots Saturday night as security officers tried to disperse the fighting youth.

Trans Mara West Deputy County Commissioner Mr Mericho Maina urged the youth to stop fighting.

“You will lose more if you continue to engage in fights. We are calling on both sides to cease fire and embrace peace,” he said.

Editing by Philip Momanyi