AFRICA/KENYA - At least 30 deaths for an assault on a village in the Tana River District

Friday, 21 December 2012

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - The toll is of at least 30 deaths caused by a new attack linked to clashes between pastoralists and farmers in the Tana River District, in Kenya. as reported by the local Red Cross; among the victims there are 5 women and 5 children. The massacre occurred when an armed group belonging to the tribe of Pokomo (farmers) attacked a village of Orma, semi-nomadic herders. A police chief said that the attackers were armed with spears and assault rifles AK-47 (Kalashnikov).
In recent months the violent incidents between the two tribal groups that are vying for control of land resources, land and water in particular have increased. Between August and September, at least 110 people died in clashes between Pokomo and Orma.
After the discovery of a mass grave in the region with more than 100 bodies, victims of the massacres, Cardinal John Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi, had asked for a decisive action of the authorities to put an end to violence and especially to address the causes of inter- Community conflict (see Fides 19/09/2012). Conflicts between pastoralists and settled semi-nomad farmers are not new in Kenya, as in other parts of Africa. In recent times, however, fighting has become more violent and deadly because of the increasing availability of war weapons. It is feared that the traditional agro-pastoral conflicts are exploited for political purposes, in view of the 2013 elections. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/12/2012)