Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
07:05 PM Beirut time
22 °C
Blom Index
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Revenge attack kills 12 people in Kenya land row
Police walk past the remains of houses which were burned down during clashes in Chamwanamuma village, Tana River delta, north of Mombasa in Kenya Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (AP Photo)
Police walk past the remains of houses which were burned down during clashes in Chamwanamuma village, Tana River delta, north of Mombasa in Kenya Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (AP Photo)
A+ A-

MOMBASA, Kenya: Armed raiders killed 12 villagers and set fire to houses in Kenya’s Coastal region, police and the Red Cross said Friday, in a revenge attack that is part of a long-running dispute over grazing land and water.

The attackers targeted a village in the Tana Delta inhabited by Pokomo farmers late Thursday, less than three weeks after 100 Pokomo tribesmen armed with spears and machetes killed more than 50 people in an attack on an Orma settlement.

The violence follows deadly riots in Kenya’s main port of Mombasa after the assassination of a radical Muslim cleric. The two events are unrelated but have exposed deep social, political and sectarian divides that could lead to more violence ahead of a presidential election next year.

“They attacked our people and killed so many of our people, burned our houses and left us with a lot of pain. Did you expect we would let them get away with it? No way,” said 29-year-old Ali Dorobo, an Orma from the area.

Dorobo said some in his community were not satisfied with the scale of the latest attack, suggesting the violence could escalate.

“We know they will organize another attack and we are waiting. This will not end soon,” Dorobo told Reuters by telephone.

Settled Pokomo farmers and semi-nomadic Orma pastoralists have clashed intermittently for years over access to grazing, farmland and water. The bad blood reignited late last month after the Pokomo accused the pastoralists of grazing cattle on their land.

Efforts by top government officials have so far failed to defuse the tensions.

Jillo Dabacha, who chairs a community security group in the Tana Delta locality, said gunfire broke out last night and continued until dawn. He said the attackers appeared well-organized.

“They surrounded the Pokomo village and attacked, burning houses and shooting indiscriminately,” Dabacha said. A number of women and children had fled the village and were likely hiding in the surrounding bush, he said.

The region’s police chief, Aggrey Adoli, rejected criticism that a heightened police presence in the area had failed to prevent a retaliation many had expected.

“When [police officers] were informed, they rushed [to the scene] and repulsed the attackers, otherwise we would be talking of many more deaths plus destruction,” Adoli said.

Cattle rustling and clashes over grazing and farming land are relatively common between communities in arid areas of east Africa and often escalate into revenge attacks.

Such attacks have become increasingly violent in recent years because of a steady influx of weapons across Kenya’s porous borders, in particular from war-ravaged Somalia.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 08, 2012, on page 10.
Home International

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Friday April 18, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS