At least 30 killed in Kenya violence

Friday 21 December 2012 16.38
At least 30 killed in Kenya violence

At least 30 people have been killed in Kenya after farmers raided a village of herders in the southeast.

The incident is the latest between two communities with a history of violent animosity, the Kenya Red Cross said.

Five children and five women were among the dead, the Red Cross said. At least houses were set on fire during the attack, Red Cross spokeswoman Nelly Muluka said.

Anthony Kamitu, who is leading police operations to prevent attacks in the region, said that the Pokomo tribe of farmers raided a village of the semi-nomadic Orma herding community at dawn in the Tana River Delta. He said the raiders were armed with spears and AK-47 rifles.

At least 110 people were killed in clashes between the Pokomo and Orma in August and September.

The tit-for-tat cycle of killings may be related to a redrawing of political boundaries and next year's general elections, the UN Humanitarian coordinator for Kenya, Aeneas C Chuma, said late August.

However, on the surface the violence seems driven by competition for water, pasture and other resources, he said.

Political tensions and tribal animosities have increased due to competition among potential candidates in the March election.

Violence after Kenya's last general election, in late 2007, killed more than 1,000 people.

Officials are working to avoid a repeat during March's presidential election, but episodes of violence around the country are raising fears that pockets of the country will see violence during the voting period.

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