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Police say 'calm restored' after village siege

25 November 2013, 19:56

Nairobi - Kenyan police said Monday that calm has been restored in a village in the country's northwest following a siege by armed militiamen from a rival community.

Militiamen had last week surrounded the village of Lorokon, home to the rival Pokot and Turkana communities. They seized three police stations and put up heavy resistance against police sent to the area.

Kenyan police spokeswoman Mboroki Gatiria said the siege was resolved when local community leaders intervened and convinced the militiamen to pull back.

"Calm has been restored, the road has been reopened and nobody has been injured," she told AFP, adding that police were still removing trees that had been placed to block access to the village.

Kenyan authorities imposed a curfew in the area Saturday. The Kenyan Red Cross had said an estimated 600 to 900 residents of the village had been surrounded by around 150 armed men.

According to the Red Cross, trouble began on November 18 after the death of two Pokot, blamed on the Turkana tribe. Retaliating Pokot then surrounded the village.

The Turkana and Pokot tribes, experienced in fighting and farming, often clash, mostly over cattle rustling and territory.

The current crisis in Turkana South is "not new", said the Red Cross had said on Saturday.

"This is a resource-based conflict which includes land, pasture, water, cattle rustling and politics... Even if the current stalemate is resolved, we are almost certain that this will recur," it said.




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