NAIROBI — Clashes between farmers and herders in southeastern Kenya escalated Monday with 38 people killed, including nine police officers, and a government official and the Kenya Red Cross suggested the military should be deployed to the area.
The cycle of retaliatory killings may be related to a redrawing of political boundaries and next year’s general elections, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Kenya, Aeneas C. Chuma, said late last month.
But on the surface the violence seems driven by competition for water, pasture, and other resources, he said.
Political tensions and tribal animosities have increased because of competition among potential candidates in the March election.
At least 100 people have died in the clashes, which started three weeks ago, according to an Associated Press count.
In the latest bloodshed, armed farmers allegedly attacked a village of their seminomadic livestock-herding neighbors, the Red Cross said.
Eight children were among those killed in the morning attack, in which more than 300 people from the Pokomo tribe allegedly raided Kilelengwani village of the Orma tribe of herders, said Abbas Gullet, the Red Cross secretary general in Kenya.
Hassan Musa, a Red Cross official who led the rescue of those hurt in the attack, who numbered more than 10, said children had suffered machete wounds to the head.
On Friday, 12 members of the Pokomo tribe were killed by members of the Orma community in a revenge attack.