Five killed, 11 injured in Nakuru clashes

Peter Rop, with an arrow head lodged at his head undergoes treatment at Nakuru Level Five hospital. He is a victim of skirmishes reported in Molo and Njoro areas SEPTEMBER 13, 2018. [PHOTO: MERCY KAHENDA/STANDARD]

Police are looking for a local politician alleged to have incited a gang of armed youths to attack residents of Mauche and Nessuit villages in Njoro.

Three people have been arrested and are believed to be among the masterminds of ongoing ethnic clashes pitting two communities in Nakuru County.

Molo police boss Benard Kioko said officers were looking for the former contestant for a ward seat.

Mr Kioko said the three suspects were believed to be leaders of a gang of about 300 men who were preparing to attack residents.

He said one of the suspects was found with a sword believed to have been used in the attacks.

Five people have been killed and scores of others injured in clashes in Nessuit and Mauche wards.

Local leaders said a gang of youths descended on villages, shooting victims with arrows as they burnt houses.

Leaders, including Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, have linked the attacks to notices issued to settlers in parts of Eastern Mau forest.

Interviews with victims, leaders and the police revealed that the conflict is between members of two communities living in the two wards.

At least 10 people with arrowhead injuries were admitted to the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital. One was treated and discharged.

Authorities told The Standard that some 400 families have been displaced in the conflicts in Nessuit.

More than 30 houses and business premises have been burnt in Musegkwa, Sigaon, Kwara, Tiritagoi and Sigotila villages.

Although Kioko claimed the attacks were as a results of alleged livestock theft, residents said it could be directly linked to eviction notices issued three weeks ago.

"Some communities came out publicly to support the eviction while others have opposed the move," said Jackson Kumare, a resident.

Rose Chepkurui said: "We have been hiding in the forest since yesterday night. When police came to the area, we decided to go back home to get some food and clothing, only to get our houses in flames."

The violence started on Monday and escalated on Wednesday afternoon, when several houses were torched at Nessuit.

Nakuru Level 5 Hospital CEO Joseph Mburu said more than 10 patients had been received.

“One was treated and discharged and nine are undergoing treatment. Four patients have been taken to theatre, four are in wards, and one is at the ICU. Three of the patients had arrows lodged in their bodies," he said.