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Moyale residents flee as clashes claim five more

By | Jan 28th 2012 | 2 min read


Five people have been killed and several families displaced in the clashes between two communities in Moyale.

The clashes started on Thursday and continued through Friday, forcing residents to flee the troubled areas.

Police confirmed that among the dead was a boy, 10, a chief and a police reservist.

Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere said a former area MP and a police reservist are being held over the clashes.

Iteere said more than 200 GSU personnel had been flown there to calm the situation.

Eastern PPO Mercus Ochola told The Standard necessary force would be used to stop the killings.

Gun battles

"Some of the fighters are now shooting at my officers provocatively. The officers will defend themselves but I can confirm the fighting is still ongoing," he said on the telephone.

The police boss said police were still trying to quell the fighting.

"We will make every effort to address the problem, which seems to be fuelled by local political leaders," he said.

Residents called The Standard On Saturday newsroom, asking for intervention as gun battles continued. A caller said at least six people had been taken to hospital with injuries.

Since Tuesday, transported was disrupted as authorities declined to allow vehicles to leave the hotspots, saying it was insecure to travel.

The Borana and Gabra communities have engaged each other in gun battle in Butiye estate.

The violence, which broke out in Helu on Tuesday, spread to other parts of the district.

Police and military officers have been deployed to the Butiye, Gurumesa and Helu, where there have been conflicts since November last year.

The violence, believed to have sucked in Ethiopian fighters, has disrupted transport.

Locals said some schools in Moyale had not opened as teachers and pupils fear attacks.

Delayed opening

Other reports said Form One selection had been disrupted by the clashes.

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said the foreign attackers put up with their tribesmen in Kenya whenever they cross into the country.

But he warned that the Government would not let the assailants continue terrorising residents.

"Let them know that we have the capacity to deal with them once and for all. We have deployed enough personnel in the affected areas to tame further attacks," he said in Nairobi.

Prof Saitoti said Kenyan security agencies would guard the Kenya-Ethiopia border the same way they have been keeping guard along the Kenya-Somalia one.

Residents have since called on the Government to deploy enough security officials to crackdown on the suspects to restore safety once and for all.

They said their lives had been shattered by frequent attacks and destruction of property by marauding gangs.

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