Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kenya police arrest 9 community leaders after clashes kill 53

(Reuters) - Kenyan police have arrested five clan leaders and four chiefs in connection with an attack that killed 53 people in a long-running dispute over land and water in a rural part of the east of the country, a senior provincial official said on Friday.

Armed with machetes, bows and arrows and spears, attackers from the Pokomo ethnic group locked villagers from the rival Orma group in their homes, set the structures alight and killed anyone who tried to escape late on Tuesday.

Settled Pokomo farmers and semi-nomadic Orma pastoralists have clashed intermittently for years over access to grazing, farm land and water resources.

Samuel Kilele, government commissioner for Coast province, told reporters in the port city of Mombasa the arrested elders are accused of organizing and leading the raid and the chiefs of failing to alert authorities about the planned attacks.

"They had prior information which they did not share with us so that we could intervene before the attacks occurred. We have sacked all of them, and will take them to court next week to face charges of complicity and abetting crime," Kilele said.

"We are pursuing 10 other ring-leaders of the attack, whose names we have, and who will assist us to arrest all those who participated in the killings." Read More