Renewed Conflict in Kuria Renders 570 People Homeless

There have been several conflict-related incidents in the Kuria East District since January 2013. The conflicts, which have been associated with cattle rustling, have impacted negatively on livelihood and political stability in the affected area, leaving 3 people injured and two dead. So far, a cumulative total of 135 houses have been torched from both communities. Further, a Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) detailed assessment in the area has established that some 14 households out of the 570 displaced families are currently camping at Taragai Chief’s Camp, with others having been integrated in the Nguruna Location.

Furthermore, a retaliatory attack was carried out in Gwisaka village on 13th February 2013 leading to one child being injured and an unknown number of livestock stolen. The latest attack was on 16th February 2013 where 25 heads of cattle, five sheep and 15 goats were reportedly stolen. Two homes were also torched and after more retaliatory attacks, a further 36 homesteads torched. Two bodies were recovered and one casualty referred to Akidiya Memorial Hospital.

The first attacks were reported on 3rd January 2013 when Remanyangi village in Kebaroti sub location witnessed armed cattle theft that left one life lost and another person critically wounded. On 30th January 2013 at Wangira Bose, there was a renewed attack in which 21 heads of cattle were reported stolen. On 9th February 2013, another attack was carried out in Magena leading to two homesteads being torched and 10 heads of cattle reportedly stolen. There were other retaliatory attacks that saw at least 19 homes torched. Five of these households have been integrated into the community and 14 resettled temporarily at the chief’s camp.

The KRCS response teams from the West Kenya Regional Office and the Migori Branch conducted a peace and reconciliation talk between the clashing communities, in collaboration with the Government of Kenya line ministries and the Provincial Administration and other stakeholders. In addition, in partnership with these stakeholders, at least 30 non-food items kits were distributed to the affected families on 14th February 2013.

To date, police have managed to recover 11 heads of cattle. There is an immediate health concern with some of the health centers closing down due to fear of attacks. The most immediate gap is a need for relief food.