Inequality, drought and the deadly fight for precious grazing land in Kenya

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Early one morning last week, Richard Constant drove across the 24,000-acre ranch that he part-owns on a high plateau in central Kenya to discover what remained of his home. In March, Constant’s friend and business associate Tristan Voorspuy, a British army officer turned safari operator, had been shot dead on his horse while inspecting the damage caused by armed herders who had driven tens of thousands of cattle on to the ranch.Constant, a 62-year-old Yorkshireman, arrived as the day’s first rays of sun fell on the ground. He heard distant gunshots, a reminder that the deadly unrest that has pitted major landowners, local smallholders and security forces against armed cattle herders for more than three months was far from over. He found his home in ruins, burned to the ground. “I looked at my house and felt sad that Kenya, which I regard as home, has got into such a state,” he said. “But a house can be rebuilt. I can’t get my friend back, nor the two security guards who were shot on the neighbouring ranch.”(guardian)…[+]

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