Calm has been restored in the troubled Nkoben and Olmegenyo areas bordering Maasai Mau forest after three days of intercommunity clashes that left two dead and scores others with serious injuries.
Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya confirmed the area was calm saying tens of people had been arrested and are expected to be arraigned in court on Monday.
Natembeya said heavy security team comprising of General Service Unit (GSU), Administration police, Regular police and Kenya Forest Rangers (KFS) had been deployed in the area to ensure security.
Over 20 houses and property worth millions of shillings were destroyed during the skirmishes leaving hundreds of people homeless.
Women and children were forced to vacate their homesteads as men were left behind to guard their homesteads and face off with their warring opponents.
Farmers in the area were not spared also as huge flock of sheep, goats, donkeys and cows were left freely to enjoy the already mature crops in the farms.
Natembeya however warned the residents against taking advantage of the skirmishes to interfere with the ongoing exercise of restoring Maasai Mau forest saying anyone who will be found in the forest land will be arrested and prosecuted.
We are aware that the scuffles could have been planned to divert our attention from Maasai Mau conservation. We ask the residents to maintain peace because nothing will shift our focus from conserving the forest, he said.
The chaos were triggered by the death of a young Moran whose body was found dumped in the forest land two days after he had gone missing where one community living in the area accused the other of being responsible for the killings.
Other leaders including Interior Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Patrick Ntutu who hails from the county and church leaders have condemned the attacks and called on the residents to maintain peace.
Ntutu asked the residents to shun violence and live with their neighbors peacefully as they have always done.
The church led by Narok County Pastors’ Fellowship Chairperson James Nakola asked the residents to respect one another as God had placed them in the same locality with a good purpose.
We should not let ethnicity or any individual divide us for we are all God’s creation, our people should embrace peace, he said.
Narok North Deputy County Commissioner Ronald Mwiwawi and his Narok South counterpart Charles Mukele who had earlier visited the area attributed the violence to social media propaganda cautioning residents against posting inciting messages.
Mwiwawi asked residents to maintain peace promising that more security personnel will be deployed to the area to provide the much needed security.
Similar clashes were witnessed in Olposimoru near Maasai Mau forest in the year 2015 after two herders were shot down by unknown people.
Source: Kenya News Agency