Lamu, KENYA: Security officers in Lamu are struggling against a two day ultimatum issued by Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa to arrest all those involved in a recent incident where 42 cattle were cut and injured by unknown people at a ranch in Mpeketoni two weeks ago.
The attackers are said to have attacked the cattle as they grazed and left 42 of them with grisly wounds.
Three people were also badly wounded during the altercation between herders and farmers.
The herders were apparently planning a retaliatory attack before the coordinator and his team arrived to mitigate.
Speaking on Sunday when he met farmers and herders in Lumshi area in Witu,Lamu west,Marwa directed police to ensure the arrest of individuals who allowed the livestock to stray into farms.
Marwa said those who injured the cattle were to be arrested for taking the law into their own hands and thereby precipitating the current conflicts between herders and farmers in the county.
He called on the two sides to stop fighting and instead learn to respect each other’s space.
“we are here to basically bring cohesion between farmers and herders in this area who have been at each other’s necks for quite some time now.The situation is threatening the peace and stability of this place and must not be allowed to continue.I want all those involved in the recent attack on cattle to be arrested in 48 hours and charged,”said Marwa.
A special committee consisting of over 20 locals and leaders has been formed to look into and help address the constant conflicts between farmers and herders in the county.
Marwa also pledged to ensure more police posts are set up closer to the two communities in order to promptly address any arising conflicts.
He called on chiefs and local elders to join in and help eradicate farmer-herder conflicts in their areas.
There has been a recent increase in conflicts between farmers and herders in Lamu over limited pasture lands in the region, with farmers accusing herders of deliberately feeding their livestock on their farms.
Herders have on the other hand accused farmers of attacking ,injuring and even killing their livestock whenever they stray into their farms.