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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 12:53 GMT
Fifty dead in west Kenya clashes
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Some 50 people have been killed in the past month in clan violence over land in Kenya's western province, local government officials say.

Spokesman Abdul Mwasera told the BBC more than 30 people had been arrested in connection with the clashes.

Hundreds of families fled to camps after conflict began during a government land allocation programme.

The government has barred politicians and religious leaders from visiting the area accusing them of inciting clans.

"We have arrested 35 members of the Sabaot lands defence force, a group that is claiming responsibility for this recent fighting and the government has deployed enough security personnel to counter these fighters," said Mr Mwasera.

The Sabaot community lives at the foot of Mt Elgon on Kenya's border with Uganda and some displaced families have fled into Uganda.

The BBC's Muliro Telewa in western Kenya says tension remains high in the area as the disagreement among the clans on how land should be divided intensifies.

Seven schools in the area have been closed following the violence.

Reports say trouble started after some families sold their land and benefited from the government's new allocations at a prime settlement scheme leaving the original squatters landless.

The affected communities now want the government to revoke land allocations to 1,732 families.

President Mwai Kibaki's administration has pledged to resolve land problems across the country which have persisted for more than 40 years.


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