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22 arrested in Tana clashes

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[Coast RC John Elungata. Photo/Haramo Ali].

Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata has issued a 2 days ultimatum to one of warring communities in Madogo, Tana River County to return 48 goats they rounded up and drove away from a grazing field in the outskirts of the town.

Addressing elders from the Orma and Munyoyaya communities after a four hour closed door meeting in Madogo, Elungata said if the goats are not returned in two days, then the accused community should be ready to produce a similar number of goats ‘to be withheld until the 48 are brought back’.

Elungata said 16 goats that were rounded up in retaliation should also be returned within the same period.

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

He hinted that 22 people behind the attacks, killings and also fuelling animosity were on Tuesday arrested.

Politically instigated

He warned politicians who will also be found behind the skirmishes that they will be thrown behind bars.

The meeting was occasioned by the killing of two people (one from each side) pitting two communities on Monday in the area allegedly emanating from conflict over ‘who are the original owners of Kuruso land in Madogo’.

Several houses in villages occupied by the two communities in the outskirts of the town were torched. Police reinforcement from Bura Sub-county quelled the situation that was getting 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.

Normalcy

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

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

Elungata further directed the DCI officers pursuing the issue 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.

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

“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.

Bad history

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’.

[Orma and Munyoyaya elders during a peace forum in Madogo graced by Coast RC John Elungata. Photo/Haramo Ali].

Elders 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 Chairperson 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.