More than 50 arrested for raid on village
23 December 2012, 09:47
Mombasa - Fifty-six people
have been arrested on suspicion of killing 30 villagers, including women
and children, in a land feud on the Kenyan coast, police said on
The raiders, settled farmers
from the Pokomo ethnic group, attacked semi-nomadic Orma pastoralists
with guns, machetes and spears.
two groups have fought for years over access to grazing, farmland and
water, but human rights activists blame the latest violence on
politicians seeking to drive away parts of the local population they
believe will vote for rivals in national elections due in March.
Abdul, an Orma who survived the attack by the Pokomo, said: "They
hacked everyone they came across with machetes and spears and shot
indiscriminately at us, even as we scampered to seek safety in the
bushes. It was confusion. We didn't know which direction they were
coming from." Abdul, 27, is in hospital nursing two bullet wounds on his
left arm and shoulder.
11 Pokomo had also died in Friday's violence which they described as a
reprisal raid following a series of clashes in August in which more than
100 people died.
They added that the dead among the Orma included six women and 13 children.
launched a major overnight man hunt for the attackers and arrested 56
suspects who we believe were involved in the attacks," said Robert
Kitur, Coast region deputy police chief.
"Several of them had various body injuries like cuts, confirming that they participated in the attacks."
The suspects were arrested at their homes and a nearby forest where they had gone to hide, he said.
also recovered an AK 47 rifle, three rounds of ammunition, hundreds of
arrows, bows, spears and machetes. We shall arraign them in court next
week to face various charges top among them murder," he said.
Mwai Kibaki has instructed security forces to prevent further deaths.
Police sent an additional team of 200 paramilitary officers to the
region to disarm the fighters.
trouble on the coast may affect Kenya's vital tourism industry, already
damaged by the kidnappings of Western tourists from beach resorts by
Somali gunmen and grenade attacks in the port city of Mombasa.
run-up to Kenya's 2013 elections is being closely watched. After the
country's disputed 2007 national elections 1,200 people were killed and
many thousands more were driven from their homes.