Skip to main content

Deadly Kenya tribal clashes rage into second day

By David McKenzie, CNN
updated 4:26 AM EDT, Tue September 11, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Attackers set homes on fire, forcing people to flee in the remove Tana Delta region
  • More than 300 people, many with spears and machetes, struck a village Monday
  • Killings come just days after tribal violence killed nearly a dozen people in the area
  • Violence is blamed on tensions between the Pokomo and Orma tribes prevalent in the region

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- Violent clashes raged between tribes in southeastern Kenya on Tuesday, a day after at least 38 people were killed in the southeast of the country, the Red Cross said.

Attackers in the Tana Delta region have set homes on fire, forcing people to flee, according to the Kenya Red Cross.

The fighting comes a day after a mob of more than 300 people descended on the village of Kilelengwani in the remote Tana Delta, many of them armed with spears and machetes, the agency said on Monday.

Men, women and children were killed, including seven police officers who had been deployed to the area as a buffer between warring tribes.

That massacre came just days after nearly a dozen people were killed in the same region in what appears to be continued tit-for-tat violence that erupted last month.

The violence is blamed on the Pokomo and Orma tribes prevalent in the region. The Pokomo are largely settled farmers, and the Orma are traditionally pastoralists, tending cattle and goat herds.

There has been long-running tension between the two groups over grazing rights and water sources, but it boiled over last month when the Pokomo attacked an Orma village after an apparent land dispute.

More than 50 people were killed in that attack, mostly women and children.

The revenge attacks are the worst violence in Kenya since more than a thousand people were killed and hundreds of thousands were left homeless after a disputed election in late 2007.

Kenya's security forces have been heavily criticized for being unable to quell the escalating violence along the Tana River.

Samuel Kilele, the police commissioner of the coast, said hundreds of police were in the area, but rugged terrain and poor infrastructure made it hard to get there. He said four local administrators were being fired for their lack of a response.

But in a move indicating the seriousness of the situation, he said the Kenyan military could be brought in to bring security to the region.

"If the situation proves more volatile, then the deployment of the army will be inevitable," Kilele said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT