t least three people were killed and scores left nursing injuries after clashes between two communities erupted at Nessuit area in Njoro, Nakuru County on Wednesday night. Several houses were torched, leaving hundreds of people in the cold night.
Molo OCPD Bernard Kioko confirmed the incident, saying security had been beefed up in the area to avert more chaos. Ten people with arrow heads lodged in their bodies have been admitted to Nakuru Level 5 Hospital. The violence intensified on Wednesday night after the two communities, which have long lived in harmony, clashed over occupation of land on the edges of Mau Forest.
Tension has been growing in the region since Monday night. Local administrators said the clashes between the communities living in the area have a similar pattern to the ongoing violence in Narok County.
“The tension has been high since the beginning of clashes in Narok last week, then communities started blaming each other for livestock theft in the area, especially those that graze in the forest. The rising tension saw one person attacked on Tuesday morning,” said Nessuit Chief Joseph Rotich. No one has been arrested in connection with the attack.
Ogiek Council of Elders chairman Joseph Kimaiyo said the tension between the three communities started after a forest eviction notice was issued in several parts of Teret, Likia, Nessuit and Marishioni.
The government is targeting eviction of more than 40,000 settlers living in the forest. According to the Nakuru County Ecosystem Conservator, more than 300 families have encroached on the Mau while 3,000 others are living in various settlement schemes hived off the forest.