Three More Killed in Flare-Up
The Nation (Nairobi)
8 March 2008
Three more people were shot dead on Friday morning as
confrontation between two communities escalated in Laikipia West
Scores of others were seriously wounded while the number of houses
torched rose to more than 500.
The killings brought the death toll to nine since last weekend.
Among Friday's victims were two teachers, a pastor and a trader
contracted by non-governmental organisations to supply relief food.
Pastor Michael Kariuki of Neno Evangelism was shot as he led his
family in prayers.
Mr Mwangi, a teacher at Magomano Primary School, which has since
been closed, was felled as he dashed out alongside his elder son
at Mutamaiyu village.
District commissioner Julius Mutula said the death toll may be
higher as more bodies could be lying in bushes.
Tension remained high in five volatile villages worst hit by the
clashes, sparked by cattle rustling in the past two months.
The raiders, armed with machetes, arrows and guns, torched houses
despite the presence of security officers on patrol in the vast
plains of Laikipia.
The Saturday Nation team found an elderly man instructing warriors
how to counter-attack at Ol-Munyu village.
More than 300 families have fled the area and are camping at
Rumuruti Police Station and Gatundia Police Post. Others are in
Nyahururu Town, 20 kilometres west of the affected zone.
"More than 500 raiders have unleashed terror for two nights. The
Government is losing the war on crime in this region," said Mr
Munyiri Mutitu, a former councillor.
Mr Batholomew Enkari, a local pastor said the war was being waged
by criminals from far-flung areas.
The DC said more police officers had been deployed to the area.
In Marsabit District, three people have been killed in the past
two days in renewed fighting between two rival communities.
Two of the victims were shot dead on Thursday, prompting revenge
by the rival community during which a person was killed on Friday.
Gun fire rent the air at Songa village in Central Division as
militiamen from the two communities engaged each other in drawn
At least five people were injured during the fighting 16
kilometres from Marsabit Town.
A source at the village said rivalry between the two communities
was renewed last week after two men from the two communities
fought over a woman.
One of the men was killed at the weekend, prompting his kinsmen to
avenge the killing.
"People are still fighting even now. They have been doing so since
morning when reports of deaths reached the whole village," a man
who was at the scene but sought anonymity told the Saturday Nation
The provincial security team feigned ignorance with a senior
police officer denying knowledge of the fighting.
Contacted last evening, Eastern provincial police officer Joseph
Koskei said he was not aware of the fighting. "Where is the fight
and when did it start?" he asked.
He said he would have been "the first person to be informed if
there was a conflict of any nature."
The officer said his office had not received any such report from