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Calm returns to Kuria as leaders questioned

By | Jun 15th 2009 | 2 min read

By Kepher Otieno

Relative calm has returned in Kuria East District as the General Service Unit officers continue an operation to contain the violence.

The officers were deployed to contain Nyabasi and Bwirege clan clashes.

On Sunday, local DC Herman Shambi and OCPD Paul Wanjama said the operation was yielding fruits.

Residents of Nguruna Location in Kuria East District, flee their homes on Sunday. [PHOTO: TITUS MUNALA]

"We are happy the officers are patrolling the borders on a 24-hour basis to ensure peace is restored," said Mr Shambi.

The officers spoke as The Standard learnt that chiefs from Bwirege and Nyabasi clans have recorded statements with police over the clashes.

Nyanza PPO Anthony Kibuchi said: "We want to establish the root cause of the flare-ups by seeking the views of the officers."

Police have also questioned five councillors as the Kenya Red Cross Society moved in to help more than 500 families affected by the violence with basic items such as food.

Houses torched

Detectives quizzed the councillors from the Nyabasi clan for several hours on Thursday, as more homes were set ablaze by suspected rustlers.

There have been conflicting reports over the fresh flare-ups in which close to 20 people have been killed and more than 200 homes torched in a month.

Some residents claim the clashes were over a dispute on the location of new district headquarters, while others blame the conflict on cattle rustling.

Nyabasi residents want the headquarters of the new Kuria East District located at Getongoroma Trading Centre while the Bwirege clan wants it at Ntimaru.

Eight councillors from the Bwirege clan have been hiding and are yet to record statements with the police.

Mr Kibuchi said asking them to record statements was not meant to intimidate them, but to get information on what was triggering the clashes.

He said elders from the warring clans were also meeting on how to end the violence.

The Government has also assured residents of their security.

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