Inquiry reveals military, police officers had role in Tana massacre
Updated Thursday, September 19th 2013 at 22:00 GMT +3
|The Tana Delta violence saw over 660 houses burnt. PHOTO: MAARUFU MOHAMMED/STANDARD|
KENYA: The judicial inquest into the Tana Delta violence found that historical differences between agriculturalist Pokomos and pastoralist Ormas morphed into deadly violence due to incitement, impunity over past tribal crimes and failed government policies as the last General Election approached.
It also says the military, intelligence and police officers from the two tribes participated in the violence by supplying weapons, intelligence, logistics and training for their kin.
Some gangs had military uniform and received ammunition from government stocks, with elements from the separatist Mombasa Republic Council and terrorist Al-Shabaab participating in the violence.
According to the report, testimonies by witnesses depicted the Pokomo as embittered, believing that the Orma had invaded them with support from Somali tribes from North Eastern Province. The Pokomo, allegedly felt that their land tenure system had been intefered with and voters ‘imported’ from from Somalia and North Eastern Province.
The Ormas disputed the Pokomos’ claim to the land, alleging that they had lived there since “time immemorial” and should be allowed to graze their livestock freely.
The tribes compete for land and water resources, leading to the perennial conflicts. In recent times, these differences have boiled over into a struggle to control the politics of Tana River County according to the report.It also shows that the Pokomo are bitter that the Orma have often, successfully, united other tribes in the county against them.
The commission found that this cycle was worsened by the inability of the Government to adjudicate land issues, forcing the rivals “to resort to violence”.
The Pokomo allege they were victims of “historical injustices” through administrative orders, banned canoeing on the River Tana, and alleged systematic displacement and settlement of pastoralist immigrants in the delta.
“They became desperate,” says the report of the Pokomo after winning no seats in council polls and “resolved to protect their interests at the next polls fearing a repeat of the same in the coming General Election”.
Says the report referring to the alleged plight of the Pokomo: “They believe that, eventually they will be totally displaced and become ‘foreigners’ in their own land.”
20 September 2013 2:02 PM
ICC is the answer.
20 September 2013 6:33 AM
This is not something new, the govt know pretty well what has been going on all along, time has come for people to do what they can to protect their interests.