22 people arrested over Tana River clashes

Written By: Haniel Mengistu

The Regional Commissioner addressing elders from the two communities of Orma and Munyoyaya

22 people have been arrested in connection with clashes pitting two communities in Tana River County.

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Two people were killed in the Monday skirmishes at Madogo area and several houses torched.

Coast regional commissioner John Elungata who met elders from the two communities of Orma and Munyoyaya also warned politicians who will be found culpable will be arrested too.

The conflict emanates from a long-standing dispute over who are the original owners of land in Madogo’.

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Elungata at the same time issued a 2-day ultimatum to the warring communities to return stolen cattle.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right. It instead worsens the problem. Let us desist from taking revenge,” Elugata said.

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Police reinforcement from Bura sub-county Bura helped to quell the situation that was threatening to get out of hand.

Although tensions remain high in the centre, shops and other businesses that had closed for fear of being looted by goons have started opening.

Madogo centre seats along the busy Garissa – Nairobi highway and is one of the fastest-growing cosmopolitan centres that borders Garissa town.

There has been simmering tension for the past one week with each side claiming to be rightful ‘owners of Madogo’.

Elungata further directed the DCI officers handling to ensure that those behind the death of the two victims are arrested and prosecuted.

“The DCI is under instruction to ensure that the perpetrators of the clashes are brought to book. Those who incited and carried out the attacks don’t belong to any of the communities but are criminals that should be prosecuted,” Elungata said.

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He urged the residents to volunteer information to the police on criminals within their midst.

“We still want the youths who went out to the villagers to maim the residents including those who drove away the goats from both sides and those who aided them in any way. We must clean our society,” he said.

He said the reinforcements brought in from Tana North will remain in the area under the command of the county police commander until calm returns to Madogo.

The regional commissioner also cautioned those using social media platforms to incite communities that ‘they will be prosecuted’.

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Elungata said Tana River County has had a history of protracted insecurity ‘and the residents of Madogo should watch out lest we go back to the dark days’.

Elders who spoke among them, Mohamoud Wario urged the security agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident especially ‘on who shot and killed one of the youth’.

On his part, Tana North peace chair Doyo Oloo said that ‘blame games’ will not resolve the problem.

“What happened in Madogo has happened. As elders, we should be looking for solutions to the problem. Blaming the government, the politicians or any of the communities, for now, will not help,” he said

 

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