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Journalists escape death in Tana

14 January 2013, 12:09 Alloys Musyoka

Six journalists from various media houses in the country escaped death narrowly on Saturday after Orma youths at Odha village in Tana Delta district attempted to attack them during a peace meeting they had gone to cover.

The scribes had been invited by Muslim for Human Rights organization which had organized peace meeting with Orma communities in the area to get information on why killings of innocent people were taking place between the two waring communities.

They arrived at the place of meeting the same time with MUHURI members and luckily parked their vehicle facing where they had come from after sensing danger on arrival since every body both men,women and youths were armed.

Seconds after the rights activists alighted, scribes too alighted and that time Orma youths started screaming claiming that they wanted to see the journalists who have been favoring one side to the tribal clash.

"First of all there is no meeting here and we want journalists to deal with them now because we are tired of them,"said the irate machetes wilding youths.

After journalists saw what was happening they boarded their vehicle as quickly as their heels could help them and the since the driver was ready they left as tension in the meeting remained high.

Youths who were armed with pangas,machetes,Spears arrows and knifes tried to attack the vehicle but driver of the vehicle ferrying journalists was brave enough and left the scene immediately.

"The youths were planning to destroy tires of our vehicle so that they can ground us but we signaled the driver and left quickly. In short they just wanted us dead," said one of the journalists.

The journalists accused MUHURI officials for lying to them that there will be security in the meeting just to find out no any police officer who had arrived.

"We had refused to attend the meeting but they insisted and that why we proceeded because it is not the first time journalists are being targeted in this region," claimed another journalists saying MUHURI had betrayed them.

"We don't know if the right activists had plans to sacrifice our lives or what was their plans," lamented another irate scribe.

They later proceeded and reported the matter to Garsen police station where they were told that MUHURI officials had requested security but failed to pick officers from Odha police camp before they attended the meeting.

Tana Delta district police chief Richard Mukwate said security officers are available but MUHURI officials did not go to pick them although MUHURI officials claimed security personnel in the area had refused to provide security even after accepting to do so.

However MUHURI officials managed to cool the angry youths down and continued with their meeting before they left for Pokomo village where they also discussed the same.

Tana Delta district has now become one of the hot spot for journalists for they are being targeted by some groups in the war ton Tana who claim they have been siding with one of the communities in reporting matters concerning the tribal skirmishes since they begun last year August.

After Nduru attack where 11 people were killed journalists also escaped Orma attacks when they went to cover funeral ceremony of the deceased.

They were rescued by police and forced to leave without covering the burial ceremony and two days later they were also evacuated from Garsen town to Malindi by police under cover where intelligence reports indicated that some criminals were planning to raid the guest house they were living in and attack them.

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