Peace slowly returns to Nadome year after dawn massacre claimed 60 lives
An uneasy calm is slowly returning to the conflict-prone Nadome at the border of Baringo and Turkana counties, one year after a dawn massacre that left at least 60 people dead. Nadome is derived from the name of a drought-resistant tree, “adome”, which is scattered in the arid area. A spot check by the Nation on Thursday last week established that members of the Pokot and Turkana communities, who turned against one another in 2015, have since co-existed peacefully.
However, the scars of the deadly fight are still clear with many residents yet to go back to their villages and instead moved to areas such as Lomelo, Lokori and Akoret. Deserted homes greet one upon arrival. Accessing the area by car is impossible as heavy rains pounding the region have rendered many roads impassable. River Suguta is flooded as a result of the heavy downpour. Residents complained that the government and other humanitarian agencies had abandoned them.
BODIES NOT COLLECTED
“Many of our people were killed and property destroyed and we’ve been left desolate. “Nobody bothered to collect the bodies of the people killed last year and their remains are still in the bushes,” said Leter Akodereng’. Mr Akodereng’ said residents were reluctant to go back for fear of being attacked again. They are demanding to be assured of their safety first.
Here, bodies are rarely collected for burial but are usually left in the bushes to be devoured by wild animals. Katir Assistant Chief Peter Nang’ole acknowledged that residents were yet to get any tangible assistance since the May 7, 2015 attack. Most of the casualties were women and children. “We are happy that peace efforts by political and religious leaders are beginning to bear fruit with the warring communities who could not see eye to eye last year now co-existing peacefully,” said Mr Nang’ole. At Lomelo shopping centre, residents called on the government and other stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the feeble peace.
“The government is silent, as if nothing happened,” said Joshua Katiar, a local professional. “Those killed in the massacre had dependents. “Peace has been realised, but what is in place to sustain it?” Meanwhile, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has launched a public inquiry into the perennial conflicts in marginalised regions.
It will start its hearings Monday in Baringo County, targeting the conflict among pastoralists in the North Rift. Gun violence claimed 1,894 lives in the past three years, with 574 people killed in ethnic clashes, 260 in robberies and 277 in terror attacks, said the KNCHR. In addition, 91 police officers were killed, 180,300 residents displaced, 3,682 livestock stolen and 845 households set ablaze.
“KNCHR has a constitutional mandate of protecting, observing and promoting human rights in Kenya,” said KNCHR chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori at the launch of the inquiry in Nairobi. The inquiry will hold sittings and hearings in various centres in Baringo, East Pokot, West Pokot and Turkana.
Courtersy of Daily Nation