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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Matatu Riots Close down Garissa-Nairobi Highway

Traffic on Northeastern's main highway and lifeline was ground to halt by a riot organized by a group of Madogo residents.

The Daily Nation reports:

Traffic on the busy Garissa – Nairobi highway remained disrupted for over seven hours on Monday as rowdy youth battled with matatu operators.The youth backed by a section of Garissa’s Madogo residents blocked the road following a protracted conflict between the two groups.
The rioters lit bonfire and used stones to block the section of the road between Garissa town and Madogo disrupting transport into and out of the town.
A land cruiser full of riot police officers from Garissa and Madogo police stations were thrice repulsed by the youth who pelted them with stones, forcing them to retreat.
Several police officers were injured in the skirmishes.
A contingent of Administration Police officers from Garissa were called in to reinforce their regular counterparts. The youths refused entry to any vehicle leaving and entering Garissa town including Buses.
 The otherwise peaceful demonstration that started on Sunday  turned ugly when Madogo OCS allegedly arrested Madogo Matatu Association Chairman Salim Ali Madei alongside 7 other youth.
Madei had earlier told the press that their Garissa counterparts attacked and injured several of their operators on Sunday completely denying them access to their designated Garissa town stage. In reprisal, the Madogo Matatu operators also barred the Garissa Sacco members from operating on the Madogo route. They also denied trucks from collecting sand at various locations in Madogo prompting Monday’s riots.
Madei also claimed that the Garissa Madogo Matatu Association they were initially affiliated to before they registered their own is not officially registered with the Registrar of Societies.
The Madogo Matatu operators who did not want to be mentioned accused the police of compliancy and siding with the Garissa team.


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