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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 January, 2005, 10:33 GMT
Maathai offers to help end clash
Wangari Maathai
Professor Maathai won the prize for her environmental campaigning
Recent Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai has said she is ready to use her influence to reconcile warring Somali clans in north-eastern Kenya.

The environmental campaigner, who is also a government minister, told Kenyan television they were fighting there because the environment is so degraded.

The Marule and Garre clans have been battling for control of water and pastures in the arid Mandera region.

A total of 30 people have died in clashes in the past month.

"Because these people keep animals, they are unable to graze; they do not have enough water for their animals, and that's why they are clashing," she said.

Campaigner

Last month, Professor Maathai told the BBC News website that land degradation was behind some of Africa's wars.

She said frequent clashes in Kenya and Somalia were rooted in conflicts between pastoralists and farmers.

Kenya's deputy environment minister was the first African woman and environmentalist to win the prestigious award.

The 64-year-old was honoured for her campaign to save Africa's trees and for promoting social, economic and cultural reforms that are ecologically viable.

Professor Maathai is the founder of the Green Belt Movement, which has planted 20-30 million trees in Africa to counter forest loss and slow the spread of the deserts.


SEE ALSO:
Nobel Peace Prize: Your views
16 Dec 04 |  Have Your Say
Africa 'makes excuses on climate'
30 Nov 04 |  Science/Nature
Country profile: Kenya
07 Jan 05 |  Country profiles
Profile: Wangari Maathai
08 Oct 04 |  Africa


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