2,000 dis­placed in Kapedo as Turkanas, Pokots clash again

Un­con­firmed re­ports in­di­cate more than 20 peo­ple may have been killed in the at­tack

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Rift Valley - CALL FOR HU­MAN­I­TAR­IAN AID JOSEPH KANGOGO @TheS­tarKenya

More than 2,000 res­i­dents who have fled their homes fol­low­ing at­tacks in Kapedo, on the bor­der of Baringo and Turkana coun­ties, are in dire need of hu­man­i­tar­ian aid.

Vi­o­lence has bro­ken out in Lomelo, Pul­pu­sion and Ka­muge vil­lages be­tween the Turkana and Pokot com­mu­ni­ties since Fri­day.

Ten­sion is still high, as un­con­firmed re­ports in­di­cate more than 20 peo­ple may have been killed. Sev­eral oth­ers are said to be in­jured and more than 2,000 dis­placed.

“Our peo­ple are scat­tered in var­i­ous vil­lages in Ti­aty sub­county,” Lomelo chief Christo­pher Achuka told the Star on the phone yes­ter­day.

He said the at­tack­ers drove away an un­known num­ber of live­stock to­wards Turkana South.

Achuka said res­i­dents who fled with their an­i­mals need food, wa­ter and cloth­ing. He urged the gov­ern­ment and well-wish­ers to as­sist them.

Si­lale MCA Nel­son Lotela on Mon­day con­demned the killings and urged the gov­ern­ment to move in fast to avert more deaths. “We now won­der where to graze and wa­ter our an­i­mals af­ter the sud­den dis­place­ment,” he said.

Mean­while, two Pokot youths are feared dead af­ter a fierce gun­fight be­tween Marak­wets and Pokots in Tot vil­lage, El­geyo Marak­wet county, on Sun­day.

The two were said to have been in the com­pany of two oth­ers and were armed with AK-47 ri­fles. They are said to have in­tended to raid Ch­esongoch and Tot vil­lages, when they were am­bushed.

Sur­vivors Wil­son Do­maria, 17, and Evans Kip­ke­moi, 18, es­caped the Sun­day 1pm or­deal. They are nurs­ing gun­shot wounds un­der tight se­cu­rity at the Baringo Re­fer­ral Hospi­tal in Kabar­net.

Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials are yet to give of­fi­cial in­for­ma­tion on the num­ber of peo­ple killed and dis­placed in the Ke­rio Val­ley and Kapedo at­tacks.

Baringo county po­lice com­man­der Peter Ndung’u said the ten­sion on the ground is ham­per­ing move­ment of hu­man­i­tar­ian agen­cies and re­porters. “We are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing,” he said.

Ndung’u said the county has been peace­ful since last year and at­trib­uted the reemer­gence of vi­o­lence to the mi­grat­ing pas­toral­ists look­ing for wa­ter and pas­ture for their an­i­mals.

He said se­cu­rity author­i­ties in Turkana are bet­ter placed to com­ment on the clashes in Turkana South.

The on­go­ing at­tacks oc­curred amid re­ports that there are more than 5,000 il­le­gal guns in the hands of North Rift res­i­dents.

In May last year, an es­ti­mated 92 peo­ple were re­port­edly killed af­ter ban­dits staged two heavy counter-raids along the bor­ders be­tween Pokot East, Turkana and Sam­buru.

Among the dead were 51 Pokots and 42 from the Turkana com­mu­nity, of whom more than 20 were women and chil­dren.

At least 46 were killed and scores in­jured af­ter a raid by ban­dits be­lieved to be from Turkana on a vil­lage in Nadome on the Turkana-East Pokot bor­der.

A fight be­tween herders from the two com­mu­ni­ties led to the killing of more peo­ple. Eight other peo­ple were shot dead in a vil­lage on the bor­der be­tween Sam­buru and Turkana East.

Heav­ily armed raiders sus­pected to be from Sam­buru at­tacked Nako­ri­ak­wang vil­lage, killing seven peo­ple and steal­ing more than 600 live­stock.

Two gov­ern­ment heli­copters were used to carry out sur­veil­lance in the ar­eas, but fight­ing went on as the author­i­ties made ef­forts to quell the sit­u­a­tion.

Top se­cu­rity of­fi­cers from Nakuru were also flown to the area as the roads were in poor con­di­tion.

/JOSEPH KANGOGO

Kenya Red Cross So­ci­ety of­fi­cials, jour­nal­ists and armed pokot res­i­dents tour the Nadome bor­der of Baringo and Turkana coun­ties on May 5 last year. More than 50 peo­ple were killed by Turkana at­tack­ers in Kogto vil­lage, Baringo county. More than 2,000 dis­placed res­i­dents in the on­go­ing fights in Lomelo, Pul­su­sion and Ka­muge are in dire need of hu­man­i­tar­ian aid

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