Market, a symbol of harmony in Kuria East

A section of market at at Rememusi Grounds in Kuria East. Kuria tribe's Abanyabasi and Abairege clans clashed on the grounds in the past
A section of market at at Rememusi Grounds in Kuria East. Kuria tribe's Abanyabasi and Abairege clans clashed on the grounds in the past

Two warring Kuria clans, Abanyabasi and Abairege in Kuria East sub-county have jointly put up a market at Rememusi, the epicentre of violence, to help boost peace.

The Rememusi grounds which borders the two clans has been the centre of violence caused by rampant cattle rustling and political violence.

Cattle traders at Rememusi Grounds in Kuria East.

Cattle traders at Rememusi Grounds in Kuria East.

The market was established after two years of calm following bloody clashes in 2013 that killed several people and displaced several families.

The market which is built in the same spot where blood was shed as the two clans fought each other has attracted traders from both the clans.

Francis Marwa, from Abanyabasi clan said the former Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo had visited the area to try and broker peace without success.

“I lost my brother at Rememusi grounds in clan fights and part of my family had to flee to Tanzania. I am happy the grounds now serve as a market where both communities can earn a livelihood without necessarily using bows, poisoned arrows and guns,” Marwa said.

A woman walks at Rememusi Grounds in Kuria East. Kuria tribe's Abanyabasi and Abairege clans clashed on the grounds in the past

A woman walks at Rememusi Grounds in Kuria East. Kuria tribe’s Abanyabasi and Abairege clans clashed on the grounds in the past

Loss

His story is similar to Agnes Kanganya, from Abairegi clan who lost her husband during the clashes but now has a stall at the market which will hasten the healing process.

“My husband’s blood soaked Rememusi grounds and we have suffered ever since. Now I am back to ease the suffering by making a living for our children,” she said.

The two clans have intermarried and according to Isaac Wantai this did not stop them from mercilessly slaughtering each other.

“We experienced terrible times when war broke out in this area, Bairegi women married to the Banyabasi would go back to their homes during war, the children of Banyabasi fathers would turn against their Bairegi uncles and in many occasions kill them,” noted Wantai.

Migori Deputy Governor, Mahanga Mwita who is from the area said that at one time he was attacked by rowdy youths during the height of conflict.

“Nobody was spared when hell broke loose in this region, cattle rustlers would steal cattle from either of the community and the entire location would resort to physical confrontation. But we now have peace,” he said.

Catholic Peace and Justice Commission through Commissioner John Mang’enyi said the same elders who were against peace efforts were behind establishing of the market.

Mang’enyi challenged the Migori county government to reciprocate what the community has done by putting up a modern market at the grounds.