GSU deployed to Marsabit amid ethnic conflicts

Police officers clear the Isiolo - Marsabit Highway at Ngaremara after it was blocked following inter-community conflict.[Mose Sammy,Standard]

A contingent of General Service Unit officers has been deployed in parts of Marsabit County to restore order amidst escalating community conflicts.

Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai on Thursday said the deployment comes after the loss of life, destruction of property, cattle rustling and rising tension in the area.

The violence between two dominant communities has undertones of politics according to security agencies and comes at a time the country is gearing towards an electioneering period.

The move comes after 7 people were reportedly killed in the recent clashes.

“The government expresses dismay and deep concern over protracted animosity between communities in Marsabit County. We have deployed a multi-agency team of highly specialized security officers led by the General Service Unit with firm and uncompromising instructions to restore peace and order,” Mutyambai said.

In a statement to newsrooms, Mutyambai said a stern warning has been issued to perpetrators of the criminal activities perpetuating chaos in the county to either hand themselves in to the nearest police station or be prepared to face the wrath of the law.

“We urge all peace-loving Marsabit residents to collaborate and work alongside us. We shall not rest until the last criminal is apprehended,” he said.

The tension between the warring communities has hit the brim, with members of either clan blaming the other for the violence.

Various initiatives to restore peace between the two clans have bore little or no fruit, despite years of efforts by leaders and security agencies.

While relative peace is witnessed after elections, the killings reoccur every time leaders have to seek a fresh mandate to run the affairs of the expansive County, bordering Ethiopia.

Mutyambai said there is however need for the residents in the county to embrace and explore diplomatic and lawful ways of conflict resolutions.