KENYA: Early drought prompts conflict

WAJIR, 26 July 2012 (IRIN) - Parts of northeastern Kenya, which are experiencing an early drought after poor March-May long rains, have seen deadly clashes over water and pasture, say officials.

Large herds of livestock are migrating earlier than usual in parts of northeastern Kenya Photo: Photo: OCHA/Dan DeLorenzo

Migrant pastoralists from parts of the northeast and subsistence farmers in the neighbouring eastern and coastal regions of Meru, Kitui and Lamu have clashed, with several deaths reported in Meru and Kitui after the destruction of crops there by large herds of migrating livestock.

“We should be assisted rather than being harassed. Two herders from Garissa were killed when they moved to Kitui. They were attacked with arrows and they in turn shot and killed three farmers," said Hussein Futi, a local leader from the Ijara area in Garissa.

The government, he said, should facilitate peace meetings and use elders to negotiate with communities in areas where pastoralists are migrating.

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