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IDPs RESETTLEMENT AND MASAAI WARS

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Denzel Musumba

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Armed youth are keeping vigil at the disputed Rose Farm in Mau Narok to prevent surveyors from subdividing land meant for resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons. The youth armed with rungus, simis, bows and arrows vowed not to allow the surveyors into the land and threatened to lynch them. Addressing the Press at the farm, representatives of villagers from Tipis accused the Government of using force to resettle IDPs there. Kantet ole Yengo said they have vowed not to allow strangers to be resettled in the land as it belonged to their ancestors, hence it is theirs. He said they chased away surveyors who wanted to subdivide the land last week and will not allow them in. "This is our land and we will protect it even with our blood,’ he said. Calls for dialogue On Wednesday evening, a group of youth stormed the land that was bought from a British farmer, David Hampshire Rose, and chased away surveyors who were demarcating the land. According to the villagers, the controversial land is part of the 30,000 acres taken from them by the British Government and should be returned to them. The Government has bought the land and plans to resettle over 900 IDPs on it. Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Special Progmammes Minister Esther Murugi assured IDPs that they would be resettled on the land early 2011 after surveyors finish subdividing it. But Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop Cornelius Korir has called for dialogue to resolve the standoff over resettlement of IDPs in parts of Rift Valley. Bishop Korir said land was sensitive and communal dialogue should be embraced to curb recurrence of violence in future. Cause conflict "People should not ignore sensitivity of land issues in Rift valley. Communities should not be ignored when it comes to resettlement to prevent eruption of violence in future," said Korir. Speaking at the Eldoret Catholic diocese, Korir urged Kenyans to use the festive season to build peace and reconciliation.

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