11 killed in fresh fighting in Tana Delta as DO flees villagers’ attack

Eleven people have been killed in fresh fighting between Pokomo and Orma communities in the Tana Delta District.

Suspected Pokomo raiders attacked Nduru Village on Wednesday morning, killing six Ormas.

Fourteen-year-old Adam Goshi, who was awaiting his KCPE results, was among villagers slashed or speared to death.

The residents countered the attackers and killed two raiders on the spot, and two more when they pursued them to the nearby bushes. Another assailant died from injuries while fleeing.

Tana Delta police chief Richard Mukwate confirmed the attack, but refused to reveal the death toll, saying: “I can only confirm that there has been an attack and we are pursuing the attackers.”

The raid occurred 200 metres from a General Service Unit camp at Nduru and it was not clear how security forces failed to prevent it.

The villagers said the attackers struck unexpectedly. Mr Yakub Dube, who lost his pregnant wife in the fighting, said about 200 raiders stormed the village at 6am.

“They just emerged from all sides. They came to my house and killed my six-month pregnant wife. They injured my three year-old son,” he said at the Malindi District Hospital, where doctors were attending to his son, who was injured on the leg and right hand. Mr Mahmoud Goshi, another resident said the attackers torched his house.

“They killed my brother’s son, 14-year-old Adam Goshi, who was waiting for his KCPE results. They also killed my mother and injured my brother,” he said.

At the same time, Tarasaa DO Joseph Chege escaped death narrowly when he was confronted by angry Nduru villagers while on a mission to arrest the attackers.

The armed residents accosted the administrator, whom they had earlier accused of taking sides in the conflict, after spotting him among security officers.

“Immediately they spotted me, they yelled and came for my life. They wanted to spear me, they ordered me to leave immediately. I was saved by police,” he said.

However, the DO was not so lucky as the GK Land Rover he used to flee rolled several times after speeding off, injuring him and six Administration Police officers.

“We rolled at Manono near Mandingo, just a short distance from Nduru. We got injured and were rushed here by the Red Cross Society people,” Mr Chege told journalists at Malindi District Hospital where he was admitted.

He said he had recently visited Nduru and told the villagers that they could not develop without ending clashes. They didn’t like it, he said.

Police later arrested three suspects at Kanagoni road block. The suspects had red, black and white ribbons and Mombasa Republican Council cards.

Political and religious leaders at Coast yesterday questioned government’s commitment to end the bloodbath between the two communities. They accused the government of failing to set up right mechanisms to prevent clashes in Tana Delta.

The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) said security officers deployed to the area had failed to stop the clashes. Organising-secretary Mohammed Khalifah and chairman Mohammed Idris asked Inspector-General David Kimaiyo to address the issue urgently.

Garsen MP Danson Mungatana said a killer gang had taken advantage of the local leaders’ differences to create animosity between the two communities.

“We need to join hands and find out who is behind the act and not blame each other,” he said.

Nearly 200 people have been killed since the fighting started late last year.

Additional reporting by Anthony Kitimo and Bozo Jenje