Deal firmly with the cyclic ethnic clashes


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Narok has been a political hotbed with cyclic ethnic flare-ups.

A relatively cosmopolitan county with high influx of settlers, Narok and neighbouring counties have witnessed a series of ethnic violence in the past with tragic consequences.

Once again, the county is engrossed in vicious ethnic violence that has resulted in several deaths and multiple injuries.

The latest violent confrontations between Maasai and Kipsigis communities was stoked by livestock theft. But that has since morphed into a virulent conflagration leading not only to deaths but to extensive destruction of property.

Although overtly viewed as jurisdictional or proprietorial disputes, there is much to the wars.

They are a manifestation of bottled up anger that has persisted for generations and arise from perceived invasion and domination of certain regions by those considered outsiders.


Precisely, the battles manifest long-held grievances that relate to land occupation and wealth distribution.

Some of the grudges date back to the colonial administration, where community land was seized by the White administrators and settlers and turned into huge commercial farmlands.

Conversely, locals were rendered landless and forced to work in those farms as casual labourers.

Independent government and subsequent regimes never reversed the irregularities, and instead perpetuated the occupation and supremacy. Thus, to date, some communities live with heavy grudges.

Matters always get vexed when politics is added into the mix. That has happened several times in the past, the worst in the early 1990s at the climax of campaigns for multiparty democracy.

A similar situation risks repeating itself. Which is why Regional Commissioner George Natembeya has banned political activities in that neighbourhood.

We seek to reinforce that position by asking politicians to avoid visiting and making inflammatory statements that can aggravate the situation.

Cattle rustling, which precipitated the scuffle, must be dealt with quickly and ruthlessly. That is a common occurrence that ought to be curbed.

Notably, there are criminals who take advantage of the obtaining conditions to serve ulterior motives.

Whatever the circumstances, quick action is required to contain the situation and bring the county to normalcy.

With raging coronavirus infections, the country cannot afford any form of chaos as that is bound to dissipate energies and resources. All resources and energies should be deployed to fight the pandemic.

The directive by the government yesterday for cessation of hostilities among the neighbouring communities must be observed.

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