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Extended curfew hours to remain in clash area

The  government will not lift the extended curfew in Nkararo area in Trans Mara West Sub-County before the residents surrender all the illegal firearms in their possession, the Narok County Commissioner (CC), Samuel Kimiti has said.

Kimiti  said the nine surrendered weapons were not enough to convince the government to lift the curfew as per the request of wananchi as intelligence on the ground showed many illegal weapons were still in the hands of residents.

“We have extended the two week period to surrender the weapons. If you do not surrender the weapons, then we will disarm you by force then arrest you,” said Kimiti.

The two Maasai clans living in the area, Uasin Gishu and Siria have been battling each other since early 1970s that has seen many people dead, others left with permanent injuries and property destroyed.

He spoke when he visited the area in the company of Narok Governor, Samuel Tunai and area Member of Parliament Gideon Konchella to unveil the new Kereto Division that would be headed by a new Assistant County Commissioner Mr. Philip Ngumba.

“Today we are unveiling this new division called Kereto whose headquarters is Nkararo so as to boost security in this area that has had conflicts for decades,” said Kimiti.

He asked the residents to cease the on and off fracas saying this had derailed development in the area despite the region being rich in agriculture production.

“I have worked in several parts of this country but I want to assure you that your land is among the best. This is like Canaan, the land of milk and honey, but because of your conflicts, you have turned the land to be like Egypt,” said Kimiti.

He revealed that since last year when the government launched the disarmament exercise, 109 illegal firearms have been surrendered back to the government.

On the eve of Good Friday, the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner, George Natembeya visited the volatile Nkararo area and imposed an extension of curfew hours from 4pm to 7am.

Governor Tunai  who hails from the Siria Community passionately appealed to the residents to respect one another, saying the trend was a shame in the current generation.

“I am so ashamed to see people I lead always fighting one another for no apparent reason. I ask you to live in peace because this is the land that God has blessed us all to live in,” said Tunai.

He lauded the government for boosting the number of security officers in the area saying this has brought peace in the area.

Despite the Department of Lands putting a clear boundary to separate the two clans, the residents still battle each other and hardly will three months end without fresh conflicts being witnessed in the area.

The embattled land is one of the richest agricultural zones in Narok County as it produces a lot of sugar cane used by Mara Sugar Industry in addition to tea, onions, bananas, maize and a variety of vegetables.

By  Ann Salaton

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