Po­lice shoot five pro­test­ers in Wa­jir

Mo­hamed has de­manded an apol­ogy

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - STEPHEN ASTARIKO @stephen astariko

IN JUNE, RES­I­DENTS OF WA­JIR SOUTH SUB­COUNTY BARRED THE COM­PANY FROM AC­CESS­ING SEV­ERAL AR­EAS

Wa­jir East MP Sheikh Mo­hamed has con­demned Fri­day’s in­ci­dent in which five peo­ple were in­jured af­ter po­lice at­tached to Simba En­ergy shot them. Res­i­dents were protest­ing against the oil prospect­ing com­pany’s ex­plo­ration ac­tiv­i­ties in Sitawario lo­ca­tion.

The MP also vis­ited neigh­bour­ing Ar­baqer­anso lo­ca­tion, where Simba En­ergy is car­ry­ing out sim­i­lar oil ex­plo­ration. Mo­hamed said he will en­sure the per­pe­tra­tors are brought to book. He spoke af­ter vis­it­ing the in­jured at the Wa­jir County Re­fer­ral Hos­pi­tal. They were treated and dis­charged “I will get to the bot­tom of this. We im­me­di­ately ask Simba En­ergy to apol­o­gise and com­pen­sate the vic­tims, fail­ing which we will move to court to com­pel them to do so,” Mo­hamed said. The leg­is­la­tor said he will foot the hos­pi­tal bill of the vic­tims and ap­pealed for calm.

It is not the first time Simba En­ergy is clash­ing with res­i­dents in its oil ex­plo­ration mis­sion in the county.

In June, res­i­dents of Wa­jir South sub­county barred the com­pany from ac­cess­ing sev­eral ar­eas they were to visit, cit­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion. The vil­lagers claimed that sur­veys for oil had af­fected their camels’ veg­e­ta­tion. The herders said the sit­u­a­tion had forced them to move from the area with their live­stock.

The el­ders urged Simba En­ergy to halt their ac­tiv­i­ties un­til a way for­ward from the gov­ern­ment is ob­tained. Of­fi­cials of Simba En­ergy met the com­mit­tee rep­re­sent­ing the com­mu­nity liv­ing at Le­he­ley to re­solve the mat­ter.

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