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Two killed, 10 houses torched in fresh land dispute in Transmara

RIFT VALLEY
By Robert Kiplagat | February 13th 2017

Tension is high in Pimbiniet area in the border of Transmara East and West in Narok County after two people were killed and 10 houses razed down in a renewed boundary dispute between two communities in the area.

The conflict between the neigbouring Maasai and Kipsigis communities broke out again over the weekend where the houses were torched and two men killed heightening tension among the residents.

Narok County Commissioner Moffat Kangi told The Standard that the incident could be sabotage by individuals who did not want the dispute resolved as the National Lands Commission (NLC) officials are set to tour the area later this week.

"We suspect that some individuals who have been beneficiaries of the illegally acquired lands could be behind this. On February 17 and 18 this year, NLC officials will be meeting 40 elders; 20 from each community in a bid to resolve the matter that is why we sense sabotage," said Kangi.

He revealed that a contingent of security personnel have been deployed to the volatile area but the culprits changed tact and staged attacks at night.

He said: "The situation is currently calm. The Saturday night incident ambushed the security personnel as they attacked at night near a GSU camp. Normally the officers patrol from morning to 7:30pm but the incident happened after officers had winded up their daytime patrols".

Following the arson that left 10 families homeless, the commissioner said three suspects have so far been arrested and manhunt have been launched on the killers who left the duo dead.

Mr Kangi said it was difficult for officers to make any arrest on the murderers as the incident happened at night adding that officers will now be doing patrols at night in the area to quell such incidences in the future.

Since last year, about 15 people have been killed following land and boundary disputes involving communities living in the area.

The incidences comes barely a month after County security committee issued a 14-days ultimatum to to surrender illegal firearms to authorities' failure or face forceful operation.

Kangi who is the County Security and Integration Committee said they have already profiled those with illegally-acquired guns and are known.

The committee noted that as opposed to yester-years where crude weapons such as bows, arrows, spears were used, the trend has taken an ugly tune as most of those who have been killed in the conflicts died of bullet injuries.

Mr Kangi also raised concern over misuse of guns by licensed holders in the area saying should any be found palpable of misusing their guns will be withdrawn from them as per the law .

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