LAND CLASHES Start in Rift Valley as Armed Militia INVADE WHITE Settler Land, burn Property and Elect Permanent Traditional Manyattas

A tourist lodge on the Suyian Ranch was destroyed by armed nomads. Most of the large ranches in Laikipia are owned by white Kenyans, corporations or wealthy Europeans.

Samburu armed pastoralists have begun building a large boma on the 44,000 acre Suyian ranch which they invaded on Sunday.

On Monday they burned down the remaining five star lodge buildings.

The Samburu apparently want to make their stay permanent as they did with the Lombara farm of John Francis Mwai which they took over in July.

There are now fears that a large force of Samburu and Pokot intend to move South to invade the 24,000 acre Sosian conservancy and the 29,000 acre Ol Maisor working ranch.

“I think we face general attack and ethnic cleansing of all whites and Turkana from the Laikipia plateau. Even my managers are scared to stay because we’re going to be attacked,” said one White Kenyan landowner this week.

An estimated 10,000 pastoralists with 135,000 cattle have invaded ranches in Laikipia North in the last four months.

Last week President Uhuru Kenyatta in Rumuruti ordered that all invading pastoralists should leave the Laikipia ranches.

In October last year, Cabinet made the same order.

Most of the conservancies in Laikipia combine cattle ranching, tourism and wildlife conservation.

The 12 main conservancies in Laikipia, including Suyian, claimed in 2014 that they pumped more than Sh2 billion into the Laikipia economy in 2013.

Stores and garages were also looted.

The five Anti-Stock Theft policemen guarding the lodge were overwhelmed by scores of hundreds of attackers.

“They were young and inexperienced and could not cope,” a Laikipia resident said.

The Suyian lodge is the third tourist lodge in Laikipia to be closed in January.

A Pokot invasion forced the closure of two lodges in the Mugie conservancy earlier this month.

An estimated 10,000 pastoralists with 135,000 cattle have invaded ranches in Laikipia North in four months.

‘Sosian’, the Samburu word for ‘Wild Date Palm’, combines the tame with the wild; ideal for those looking for a unique and intimate bush experience. The ranch is privately-owned game ranch that has recently been renovated to offer seven double-bedded cottages with en-suite bathrooms set in tropical garden.

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