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September 2012

During the month of Ramadan, the research continued while working out the logistics to accommmodate the new workers. To complete the final details, Musafir decided to return to Lamu where it was also easier to meet new team of fundi (builders). Shortly before leaving however, rumors of clashes between two tribes in remote areas had just begun to circulate.

Once in Lamu, the same voices began to grow in intensity including episodes of people fleeing their homes.

The reasons for these conflicts have their roots far back in time and dynamics are not easy to judge. But whatever they are, they are not sufficient to justify the more than one hundred bodies discovered in two mass graves.

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After nearly a month of absence from Kipini, the Musafirs had to see what was really happening. Two decided to return to the banda (boatyard) without using the local transport. They approached Kipini by feet, crossing the savannah while talking with farmers, gradually evaluating the situation.

The trip lasted two days, completely immersed in a wild and wonderful nature. To encourage them to continue, an extraordinary event occurred: a lunar rainbow appeared.

In Kipini there was a heavy army presence and the whole village was under a curfew. The village itself was not affected by the clashes but the people were terrified by what they had seen: two villages were burned and people were forced to leave with what they could carry on their heads, aiming to reach the main road 40 kilometers away.

The exodus continued for days and the army's role in the situation was muddled: their actions were far removed from their supposed role in the situation.

The Musafirs got the impression that the presence of the project was a deterrent to the spread of violence. The banda was in fact visited by many authorities during this period. 

The Musafirs chose a neutral approach. They were not there to judge or to impose to others how they should behave.

Each of us must always answer to their own conscience.