Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.While the violence that erupted between the Pokomo and Orma tribes on 13 August in Tana River district, where at least 116 people have been killed and more than 12,000 displaced, is widely seen as a dispute over water and land, some analysts are concerned that it is also linked to the upcoming general elections in March next year. The previous conflict that arose following the 2007 elections resulted in one thousand people being killed and 600,000 internally displaced, and there are now fears that the recent violence in Tana River is a forerunner for worse things to come. Tensions are thought to be further fuelled by recent boundary changes where manyvillages and locations have been shifted into different constituencies. In response to the recent killings and displacement, the Kenyan government belatedly sent inparamilitary reinforcement and introduced a night curfew. The Assistant Minister for Development and Livestock, Dhadho Godhana, has further been sacked for allegedly inciting the violence. The Kenyan Red Cross is responding by offering much needed food and non-food items, shelter, relief and health services to people affected by the conflict, most of who have settled in temporary camps. However, there are real concerns over the scarcity of medical supplies and staff. For more information, visit the IDMC Kenya page About IDMCThe Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) (www.internal-displacement.org) was established by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in 1998, upon the request of the United Nations Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC). Monitoring internal displacement caused by conflict, violence, human rights violations and natural disasters in over 50 countries, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is widely respected as the leading source of information and analysis on internal displacement throughout the world.
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