Politicians warned against fueling animosity over Tana River land wrangles

The Government has warned political leaders in Tana River County against fueling animosity among communities over land disputes.

Coast Regional Commissioner, John Elungata urged politicians to stop incitement on land matters that have been ailing the region.

He cited the recent flare up in Madogo area which was quelled by security apparatus after alleged incitement among the local communities.

Addressing local elders from the Orma,Pokomo,Wardei,Wailuana,Mywoyaya,Watta among other communities on Thursday at Minjila in Tana River county, Elungata warned leaders and residents not to repeat the cycle of violence that has caused loss of lives, property and displacement of people in the region.

“I recently toured Madogo where there was animosity and tensions. It was all about incitement,” he noted.

“You should not forget the history of violence in this area that has led to loss of lives and property because you risk repeating it,” he added.

Elungata also send a warning to the farmers and pastoralists urging them to respect each other in order to have a peaceful co-existence.

“You must respect the decision of the Water and Pasture Committee and migratory herders from North Eastern have to seek permission from elders to graze in the county,” he directed.

In 2012, skirmishes between farmers and livestock keepers in the Tana Delta claimed more than 100 people and displaced hundreds of families. The conflict ended after the March 4 general election.

Elungata however, noted that the communities had made a peace deal last year bringing the skirmishes to an end.

“You should uphold the law and seek help from the government offices instead of resorting to violence. If you do not get assistance from one office move to the next level. If you differ with your neighbor do not blame the whole community of being bad to you. You should avoid ethnic hatred,” he advised.

At the same time, Elungata said terrorism has not been fully eradicated calling upon locals to be vigilant in reporting suspicious activities in the region.

“We need information for us to take action. Some immigrants were found training in Ozi forest but they disappeared and no-one has come forward with information that could assist us trace them. We will treat information with utmost confidentiality,” he said.


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