AFRICA/KENYA - More than 100 deaths, the Christian churches are asking the government to intervene

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - The Christian Churches urged to the Government of Kenya to ensure security in the Tana River District, prey to violent clashes between pastoralists and farmers. The latest violence dates back to September 10, when during an attack from a local community against another, 38 people, including nine policemen were killed. This attack brought to 111 people the number of people who have so far died in the attacks between the Pokomo and Orma communities.
According to reports from the Catholic agency CISA in Nairobi, in a joint statement entitled "Government, be Government," the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) and the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) said: "As part of the Christian community in Kenya, we are greatly perturbed by the fact that Kenyans are being killed and property and livestock destroyed. It is indeed incomprehensible to us that more than a hundred Kenyans have been killed in Tana River County over the last three weeks, yet the government seems either incapable of or un-committed to restoring security, " the statement said.
In addition to asking to prosecute perpetrators and to strengthen the security measures in the area, Christian leaders urge the government to address the underlying causes of the violence, top among these being the boundary between Tana River and Garissa Counties, and sort out the water problem at the heart of the crisis, by assuring pastoralists of access to the river for their livestock. The statement warned that if the conflict is not resolved in this area, it will create a dangerous model for other regions of the Country where there are latent problems, inciting the population to retaliate. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 09/13/2012)