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At least 10 killed as leaders protest rampant killing of residents in Marsabit county

By Lucas Ngasike | Published Wed, June 28th 2017 at 00:00, Updated June 27th 2017 at 19:47 GMT +3
Marsabit governor aspirant Mohamud Ali and Saku parliamentary aspirant Rasso Dido address a press conference over the Marsabit killings in Nairobi yesterday. [Moses Omusula, Standard]

Five people have been arrested in connection with the renewed clashes in Marsabit County in which a 12-year-old boy was beheaded at the weekend.

Local leaders said the skirmishes have claimed 22 lives but County Police Commander Ben Kogo said 10 people have killed in the past two months.

The leaders alleged that the clashes between the Rendille and Borana communities were politically motivated because of the August elections.

The boy was attacked by raiders on Sunday morning at Songa in Saku constituency. The raiders also left another person seriously injured.

Police are questioning five people in connection with the boy’s death and the shooting to death of a police reservist.

The county commander said several people have been arrested in connection with an attack on a lorry carrying camels along Laisamis Road. One person was killed. The attackers transferred the animals to another truck and drove off.

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“We have arrested five suspects in connection with the (boy’s) killing. We are still questioning them. Other suspects have already appeared in court. We have no official report on the claims made by the politicians,” Mr Kogo said.

Sparked tension

The attack has sparked tension in the region that has witnessed bloody conflicts in the past two months.

More than 20 Marsabit leaders, including gubernatorial aspirant Mohammud Ali, Saku MP Rasso Dido, and Marsabit Senator Godona Hargura, yesterday protested in Nairobi and petitioned Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery to address escalating insecurity in northern Kenya.

In a press briefing, Mr Ali claimed that the killings were politically motivated to create voter apathy in the region and that certain communities were targeted.

Ali said five Borana herders were recently shot dead and several head of livestock driven away by the attackers whom he said were suspected to be hired.

Politically motivated

“We suspect the killing of people in the region is politically motivated. We appeal to the Government to investigate the issues. We have raised our concerns with top security organs but it seems the issue is not being taken seriously,” he said.

The leaders said they feared for their lives as the criminals along Laisamis Road target certain community leaders. They called on the State to investigate the killings in Laisamis, Saku, and Moyale.