Mombasa, Kenya (PANA) - The Kenya Red Cross has confirmed the death of 32 people, including seven police officers, in the latest clashes in the volatile Tana Delta in the country's coastal region Monday.
The Kenya Red Cross, which has paramedics and other staffers in the region, said 167 houses were set on fire after a gang of 300 carried out a daring attack on a village called Kilelengwani, in Tarassa division in the Tana Delta, where tribal clashes have killed dozens in the past few weeks.
“The police in collaboration with Kenya Red Cross personnel have rescued at least three people, but the situation is still volatile and more updates will follow as the response advances,” the Red Cross said in statement after the mid-morning attacks.
The clashes appeared to worsen after the government embarked on a disarmament plan, seizing dozens of arms and ammunition given to police reservists, often civilians trusted with arms to keep cattle rustlers and other bandits away from the volatile region.
But local politicians in the area accuse Acting Internal Security Minister Yusuf Hajji, who is also the Defence Minister, of being part of the problem and refused to take part in communal talks to end the violence.
“If Hajji continues to be the minister, then we are yet to see more clashes,” said Dhado Godana, a Member of Parliament who has been questioned for instigating the violence. “He is part of the problem.”
The Red Cross said the clashes were continuing and that many houses are still burning.
“Kenya Red Cross Society is responding with ambulances with paramedics on board and first aiders,” the relief agency said.
On Friday, clashes in the area also left 11 dead, and tension has remained high since then.
On Saturday, the provincial administrator visited the area to initiate talks between the warring communities of the Orma and Pokomo.
The Orma tribe hails from the North Eastern side while the Pokomo, a coastal community, have been battling over land and grassland.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 10Sept2012