Kitui County Commissioner Responds to Escalating Conflict Between Kitui Residents and Somali Camel Herders

Kitui County Commissioner Mbogai Rioba has responded to the cries of Kitui South and Kitui East people over attacks by camel herders who have been invading their farms.

Rioba assured the residents that they would deploy and increase security in the areas bordering Tana River counties. He also cautioned the camel herders against grazing their livestock on the farms of Kitui residents.

Speaking during a security meeting that brought together residents of Kitui and Tana River in Kalambani, Kitui South, Rioba stated,” There have been cases of killing of camels with arrows by the Kitui people, and after that the camel herders responded by firing gunshots and scaring the residents.”

“That’s why we held talks to ensure that peace prevails between the two communities and that they continue with their normal activities.” He added.

Rioba also warned the residents not to take the law into their hands following a case where an arrow shot a camel herd and the other herders decided to revenge. He added that whoever will be found taking the law into their hands will be arrested and prosecuted.

According to Kitui South residents, the camel herders who have migrated from Tana River due to drought invade their farms, and their camels destroy their crops since the herders possess illegal firearms.

They called upon the county commissioner to do what he promised to do because they lived in fear of the camel herders.

“He has said that he will sit down with officers and come up with a lasting solution to help us, and so they should hurry up because we have suffered for a long. Our children are no longer going to school since they fear being attacked,” a resident of Kalambani said.

The camel herders on their side lamented that the Kitui residents had been killing their camels and herders with poisoned arrows and that they would follow what the county commissioner and his team had told them.

“This issue of arrows has killed our youths and camels, and we ask the government to also look at the issue and help us,” one of the Tana River residents said.

Kalambani, Ikandani, Ngaani, Kyamatu, and Mutha are the areas that have been affected by the cases of Camel herders and Kitui residents’ conflicts, and the residents want the government to provide a lasting solution to the disputes which started as far as 1992.

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