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State extends curfew in Transmara as clashes rage on

Friday April 10 2020

Torched houses in Narok

A file photo of houses burned during clashes in Pimbinyiet at the Transmara East-Transmara West border of Narok County. At least 10 houses were torched under similar circumstances in Transmara West on April 7, 2020. PHOTO | RUTH MBULA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The government has extended the night curfew in Transmara, Narok County as part of efforts to end inter-clan clashes following a man's killing.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya, who toured the conflict zone on Friday, said movement would be banned from 4pm to 7am.

A nationwide curfew over the coronavirus begins at 7pm and ends at 5am.

Mr Natembeya further said security officers from the Rapid Deployment, General Service and Anti-Stock Theft units were deployed to the region.

He warned chiefs that they will be held responsible if any conflict is reported in their jurisdictions.

"You will either shape up or ship out. The world is fighting the coronavirus but you people are engaging in senseless wars. This is unacceptable. You have brought us shame," Mr Natembeya told residents and warned of stiffer measures to end the fighting.


He addressed them while leading a team of top security officers in the Rift Valley in assessing the situation after a week of skirmishes.


Warriors from the two warring Maasai clans on Thursday woke up to fierce fighting that left more than 30 houses torched.

Gun shots rent the air and fighting went on for hours, with police appearing overpowered.

“Things are bad here. Though police officers are many, the warriors, who are also armed appear, to be outwitting them. From yesterday evening there has been fire, smoke and gun shots,” said a local administrator.

At least 10 houses were torched and several others vandalised on Tuesday evening.

When the Nation visited on Wednesday, tension was high and the burnt houses were still smouldering.

More villages occupied by members of the two clans - Siria and Uasin Gishu clans - are being roped into the skirmishes.


The Nkararo-Enooretet boundary is at the centre of the dispute between the clans, both of which have claimed ownership.

Though government officials have tried to resolve the land issue, locals say the solutions given appear to be worsening the situation.

The intra-border dispute has raged on since 1976, according to government records, and has left dozens dead and hundreds maimed.

Some of the affected families said their children fled from homes and never returned.

Ms Kinang’are Sawoyo said they could no longer sleep peacefully.

“While the entire world is fighting the coronavirus, we are facing the bigger threat of fighting among ourselves,” she said, adding that most of the gun-wielding warriors were young boys, some still in high school.

“We want to know whether we belong to a lesser government. We want to know who is distributing the guns and why no arrests are being made. Are we children of a lesser God,”  wondered Ms Sawoyo, whose house in Ndonyo village was burnt.


Keyian Ward Representative Mark Mukut said the situation was getting out of hand and urged security officers to take control.

“Why is it that young boys are being allowed to wield guns? We want the government to show us justice,” said Mr Mukut.

"It's becoming worse here. We are appealing to the government to get to the bottom of these clashes."

Ms Mercy Nesiria accused elected leaders from the region of ignoring their plight.

"Where are our leaders? Why have Governor Samuel Tunai and our MP Gideon Konchella remained silent? We want them to intervene."

The warriors have also burned food stored.

Another resident said, “What kind of people are these? Why are they burning food?"

The clashes have gone on for three decades now.

Two suspects accused of taking part in the burning of houses were arrested on Friday and Transmara West police boss  Dahir Abdullahi said they were pursuing more.