…The Laikipia Nature Conservancy, has been the center of a bloody battle for weeks, as a large-scale drought has pushed cattle-herders to extreme measures to try and find grazing land.
…”You have nomadic herders who are moving into private wildlife conservancies with thousands of heads of cattle,” [NPR’s Eyder] Peralta said. “And in response, the Kenyan government launched a military-style operation to push the herders out. But what we’ve seen is an escalation of violence. Police have killed lots of cows. And the herders have responded by burning tourist lodges on the properties.”
…Members of the Pokot and Samburu tribes have long grazed on conservancy land in Kenya, but over the past few years things have changed. Herders have brought more and more cows, killed other wildlife, and begun to vandalize property.
..”That is heavily politicized violence. And that is what’s much more worrying about this situation.”
[Gallmann’s daughter, Sveva Gallmann] added that she doesn’t think the herders even own many of the cows.
“There’s a lot of, actually, politicians, people within the police, people within the administration storing their wealth in cattle and laundering ill-gotten money through cattle,” she said.
…Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s office issued a statement warning politicians in the area not to inflame the situation with “reckless rhetoric.”
“Politicians encouraging invasions of privately-owned property or attacks on individuals can expect strong deterrent action in terms of the law,” Kenyatta’s spokesman, Manoah Esipisu, said.