By Cyrus Ombati

More than 170 Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) have been disarmed in Moyale as part of government efforts to restore security in the area.

The officers have also surrendered more than 2,000 bullets to the local provincial administration.

They will now have to undergo fresh vetting, enlisting and training before they are armed.

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Eastern Province police boss Mercus Ocholla told the Standard they intend to start the training of the KPR as soon as the disarmament is over.

"The process will be fair and open to ensure officers who have no interest in the conflict are handed guns and other government equipment for the interest of the locals," said Ocholla.

Ocholla added the disarmament exercise will extend to other areas arguing they had done so in Isiolo.

The disarmament of the KPR follows the announcement by Internal Security minister George Saitoti that some of the officers were partisan.

Ocholla said enough security personnel have been deployed in the area to avoid clashes that had been experienced in the past month.

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He added they are investigating individuals who include political leaders who are suspected to have been inciting the locals to fight.

Fighting between Gabra and Borana communities in the area has left up to 20 people dead and several others displaced.

Moyale legislator Mohamud Mohamed Ali moved to court and obtained orders restraining police from arresting him.

Police have been investigating the attacks in the area and were apparently planning to arrest him.

Saitoti said that the intelligence information showed that conflict between Borana and Gabra communities was due to their demand that they be effectively involved in the sharing of the devolved resources.

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The fighting has been ongoing despite a pledge by local leaders they would embrace peace. But police have been ordered to ensure they tame the situation and bring to book all those involved.

police Kenya reservists