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Marwa's warning on tribal clashes

By Linah Benyawa | June 22nd 2016
Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa hands over foodstuffs to Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya assistant Treasurer Hassan Suleiman. Marwa  has claimed that some businessmen in Mombasa and Nairobi counties are planning to ignite tribal clashes in Tana River County. (PHOTO: OMONDI ONYANGO/ STANDARD)

Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa has claimed that some businessmen in Mombasa and Nairobi counties are planning to ignite tribal clashes in Tana River County.

Marwa said he was aware the businessmen want to ignite conflict ahead of next year's polls, and warned that the Government would not rest until the war mongers were apprehended and their plans nipped in the bud.

"The Government is aware that there are hate mongers funding tribal clashes in Tana River County with the aim of winning elective positions in the area. I want to warn these so called businessmen that they would be dealt with according to the law," said Marwa.

Marwa, who was speaking outside his office when he hosted a number of Sheikhs and Imams within the county, said the Government would maintain the peace in Lamu and Tana River counties. During the meeting, the regional coordinator handed over dates and foodstuffs to be given to Muslims during Ramadan.

Marwa acknowledged there was acute shortage of water and pastures in Tana River that had led to some pastoralists moving to Lamu County, giving rise to conflicts over grazing fields. He, however, said that security agents had visited the area and assured the residents of peace. He revealed that five people had been arrested in connection with the killing of two pastoralists last week.

"There is scarcity of water and pasture in Tana River County that is why some of the pastoralists are moving to Lamu giving rise to conflict with farmers. I want to confirm that the Government is in control and I want to ask the communities to stay together peacefully," said Marwa.

Meanwhile, tension is still high at Boka wells in Bangale Division following differences between two Somali clans living along the border of Tana River and Garissa counties. Members of the Aulian and Abduwak sub-clan of the Ogaden clan of Garissa County who moved to Tana River County in search of pasture and water have fought several times in the last three months, leading to the murder of a herdsman.

Tension has been building since the weekend amid reports that there were plans to ignite new violence. The reports forced authorities to convene a baraza which ended without an agreement.

Yesterday, Tana North Sub-County Commissioner Charles Oncharo said security forces had been dispatched to the area and that neither violence nor killings would be tolerated. "I feel there is no crisis and those who plan to retaliate will be dealt with," he said on phone.

He added that illegal guns in the area must be surrendered to the Government. During a security meeting held at Boka village last week, Tana River County Commissioner Isaya Nakoru asked elders to expose the culprits behind recent violence.

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