A boiling tension laced with malevolence and malignancy was brewing up in the Kenya-Ethiopia border town of Moyale. A farce over religious differences stirred between the Muslim Somalis and the Christian Boranas. No sooner had Ware Abdulrahman introduced her fifth child to the world than a ferocious war erupted. The clandestine low blows transmuted into incandescent public butchering. Young boys herding cattle for their families were slaughtered out in the open. Women were not spared and men zealously took up arms to defend whichever spiritual path they adhered to.

Frantic with fear and deeply affected by this reckless irrational ire, Ware and her family immigrated to Wajir County. United by the same ethnicity and the same religion, the people of Wajir at that time knew no tribal demarcations. In their eyes, they were one and they treated each other as brothers and sisters in faith and equals in humanity. Ware loved this city. She merged well with locals and found a home in the red soils and the beating hearts of the hospitable folks.

However, when Kenya obtained its overdue independence from the colonial shackles of the Brits, Ware’s husband became infatuated with Isiolo, a town in the very center of the new republic harboring pastoral communities. Without flinching, he moved his family.

Assuming the dark, damned and doomed days of war were behind them, Ware and her family settled well. But their comfort was about to be dismantled by a new form of war, not one of determining whose ancient scripture was right, but one more primitive, centered around man-made misery of tribal distinctions. As various tribes slaughtered each other, Ware fled with her children. Only one son, a soldier in the army who was on leave, remained behind to care for his ailing father. But as he went to buy groceries, he never came back. Embraced by oppressive bullets he died shortly before his father followed him to the uncertain afterlife.

Presently, Ware hobbles around with crutches or at times is wheeled by her daughter. With her left leg shattered by a recent accident, she spends her nights wallowing in pain and as dawn approaches, her eyelids grow heavy and shut down, sneaking in a bit of sleep before embarking on the same vicious cycle.