Monday, August 27, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21- A section of leaders from North Eastern province are now blaming tribal clashes in Ethiopia for the ongoing conflict in the north.
Led by Mandera West MP Mohamed Mahamud, the group argued that Ethiopian problems were spilling over into the country, increasing the need to tighten security along the border.
Mahamud told journalists in Nairobi on Tuesday, that the conflict between the Garre and Degodia communities, over land, could only be quelled if the government stopped the two from crisscrossing the border.
“In Ethiopia, the two communities are at war and they are fighting over land. A lot of people have, as a result, been displaced in Kenya and Ethiopia and there is a lot of counter attack across the border so in hot pursuit people are dying,” he explained.
Mahamud further urged the government to deploy more security forces to man the area before the situation gets out of hand.
He noted that although 100 General Service Unit police had been dispatched to the region, they were hardly enough to contain the volatile state of affairs.
“The General Service Unit were deployed to the region in February this year, at our request, but they are not enough so we are also asking for regular police and Administration Police because we need to increase security along the border,” he stressed.
Former area MP Mohamed Abdi also claimed that some of the militia had been using Mandera town as their training base.
He emphasised the need to flash them out so as to restore peace in the region.
“The people of Mandera West, Central and East cannot communicate simply because roads have been closed and the areas have been enclaved. As a result the area has become a base for militia. These people must be ousted from Mandera County,” he said.
The group further urged local leaders to refrain from politicising the matter saying such exchanges would only makes things worse.
Mahamud added that blame games over the clashes were also retrogressive.
“These two communities have been living together harmoniously for the many years so we need to stop politicising the issue by bringing in unnecessary dimensions,” argued Mahamud.
The leaders had earlier castigated Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohammed accusing him of misinterpreting the matter.
They told him off for addressing the media on the issue on Monday saying there was no politics surrounding the conflict.
“We have mention of the Garre Defence Force, given by our brothers yesterday. That terminology is not known to us; it’s only known to them. Such a parliamentary and baseless statement is very serious and cannot contribute to peace,” emphasised Mahamud.
Abdi also urged the Ethiopian authorities to contain the situation on their end.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
BY LUCAS NG’ASIKE
Kenyan and Ethiopian authorities have vowed to unite warring communities and foster peace along their common borders.
The two governments have reached a consensus on security issues along its boundaries to ensure Turkana and Merille communities live peacefully.
A high powered Kenyan delegation led by Turkana North DC Albert Mwilitsa met Ethiopian Government officials in Omorate, South Omo, and agreed to restore peace in the region.
Mwilitsa said the two governments have set up a joint security organ that would spearhead peace to end recurrence of clashes between the communities.
The DC said Kenya has deployed marine police to the volatile Todonyang area to patrol Lake Turkana.
He added that the Ethiopian Government has also deployed its security personnel on their borders to maintain peace and order.
“We want to make sure the warring communities co-exist peacefully. Our mandate as governments is to assure residents of both sides live harmoniously by providing security,” Mwilitsa said.
The administrator told the meeting in Omorate that only the Kenya Marine Police will patrol the Lake along the border. He warned that Kenyan security agencies will deal with militia threats that have destabilised peace in the Lake Turkana region.
The DC said the Government will set up immigration offices in Todonyang to open up the region for trade, peace, security and free citizenship movements.
The meeting also agreed to the establishment of joint pastoralist school along the border where Turkana and Merille children will learn.
“We know that illiteracy has contributed so much to conflicts in the area. We want to establish a common academic institution for our children if we want to achieve peace in the region,” said Mwiltisa.
The DC also protested to Ethiopian authorities over the killing of Kenyan fishermen by the Merille militia.
The administrator revealed that for the last two months, eight people among them three security officers have been killed by Ethiopian militia on the shores of Lake Turkana.
The DC urged the Ethiopian authorities to restrain its people from crossing into Kenya to attack civilians and security officers.
He said the two governments will sensitise the communities on shared grazing rights to avoid further conflicts over pasture and water resources along the border.
The administrator said a common market would also be established along the border to promote barter trade.
Ethiopian South Omo Chief Administrator Maloka Detachew who led the Ethiopian delegation said the two countries have agreed on a joint border demarcation programme from September to clearly determine the boundaries of each country.
The move, Maloka added, would reduce further conflicts among communities in the region.