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State will not lift Tana River curfew, says Uhuru

The Star
Sunday, April 28, 2013

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The government will not lift the curfew imposed in Tana River following ethnic clashes in the county.

Speaking to Coast leaders at Mombasa State House on Thursday evening, President Uhuru said security agencies are monitoring the situation before considering lifting the ban.

“We are still assessing the situation and appropriate decisions will be reached after touring the area,” said Uhuru. A section of Tana River residents led by governor Hussein Dado said the dust–to-dawn curfew has caused huge economic loses.

Dado said most businesses in the area have been affected because they are not allowed to operate past 6pm. “We are appealing to the government to lift the ban. Peace has been restored and the Orma and Pokomo have reconciled,” he said.

Lamu governor Issa Timamy appealed to the president to lift the fishing ban at Kenya-Somalia border in Kiunga. “Since the successful operation in Somalia no attack has been reported. We ask the government to lift the fishing ban,” said Timamy.

According to police sources, many illegal firearms are still in the hands of militia blamed for the violence in the Tana Delta. A major disarmament operation led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Angelus Karuru failed.

“Armed militia from both communities did not honour the government's ultimatum to surrender their weapons and the forceful disarmament succeed,” said a senior police officer.

A senior GSU officer told the Star that rifles belonging to nine GSU, AP, and regular police officers brutally murdered on September 9 2012 at Kilelengwani are still in the hands of militia.

The ethnic clashes forced the government to dispatch more than 2,500 GSU officers to quell the chaos that left more than 200 people dead, many injured and thousands displaced. Although the conflict was quelled, officers still patrol the area.

Among those who attended the meeting include Internal Security PS Mutea Iringo, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho, Kilifi governor Amason Kingi, Dado, Taita Taveta governor John Muruti ,Mombasa senator Hassan Omar among others. Kingi challenged Uhuru not to sideline the region based on political realignment during the March 4 election.

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