April 28th 2017

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Three killed in new clashes between Maasai, Kuria tribes as border conflicts rage

Mr Mutura said the local administration had deployed an expanded security force in the area and appealed to the residents not to retaliate in case of attacks so that the government can deal with the crimes so far committed as a matter of law and order.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 21 Nov 2016 21:20 EAT

Tension remains high in the Migori and Narok border following the killing of three people last week. The three were killed at Magena area in clashes between members of the Maasai and Kuria ethnic groups last Thursday, and police have been deployed in the area.

The Angata Barikoi Division Assistant County Commissioner Anthony Mutura told reporters that Itera Muhiri, 45, was carrying out farming activities in his farm when he was attacked and killed by unknown people. According to the administrator, members of the Kuria community responded by attacking members of the Maasai community where they exchanged fire, leading to the Killing of Kapilele Saitoti, 35, a Maasai and Joshua Awili, 20, a Luo before the police were deployed and quelled the fighting.

The two groups have repeatedly clashed over land and cattle theft over the last two years. The local security officials have responded by creating a five kilometres radius buffer zone in which neither community is allowed to engage in farming and grazing, but the tensions continue. About 20 people have been in the area since 2014.

The latest incident came barely two weeks after a man and his wife, Saruni ole Ndisha and Noolkitoip, were killed in cold blood at their home near Lolgorian Town after being attacked by thugs believed to be part of an ethnic militia. The thugs who shot dead the couple had earlier terrorized businessmen and residents of the town, including the premises of a shopkeeper Henry Ombati whom they robbed of an undisclosed amount of money and shot him in the chest, seriously hurting him.

Yesterday, Mr Mutura said the local administration had deployed an expanded security force in the area and appealed to the residents not to retaliate in case of attacks so that the government can deal with the crimes so far committed as a matter of law and order.

The Narok/Migori border is one of several volatile regions which have experienced ethnic animosities in recent years. An escalation of violence around the country has triggered fears the next elections could be affected by conflict between communities.

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