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Mandera County warns of possible clan clashes, lists hotspots

North Eastern
 A police officer on patrol along the Kenya-Somalia border in Mandera County. [File, Standard]

Mandera County government has identified five hotspot areas where it says clan clashes could erupt.

Speaking at a peace meeting in Mandera, the county's Cohesion and Integration officer Hussein Yussuf warned that conflict is possibly looming in the remote Rhamu-sala-jabibar corridor.

Yussuf said two clans in the area are at loggerheads over the ownership of farmland.

"The land left of the B9 road, starting from Rhamu slaughterhouse to Isakora and Waldiri villages, is farmland belonging to one clan and administratively falls under Mandera North. A neighbouring clan has, however, occupied it and is undertaking the construction of structures including houses and water tanks," said Yussuf.

He said that the situation is volatile as the land tussle could spark deadly clashes should the dispute not be resolved early and amicably.

"There were skirmishes between the two communities but, luckily, there were no deaths. As a department, it's a situation we are wary of and fear the conflict will escalate and result in deaths and destruction of properties," said Yussuf.

The administrator went on to call for the formation of a ceasefire committee to prevent bloodshed.

"We want the formation of CMCs in the five corridors, identified as hotspots, including Kotulo-Mandera-Wajir corridor, Burmayo Corridor neighbouring Wajir North, Elwak-Lafey-Wargadud corridor and Rhamu-sala-jabibar corridor," said Yussuf.

Yussuf, at the same time, called for clans along the Kenya-Ethiopia border to dialogue following the scramble for pasture and water due to the raging drought.

"We warn against possible clashes among pastoral communities living along the border. There are binding agreements signed between Ethiopia's Liban, Dawa zones and Mandera County pertaining to cross-border peace initiative," said Yussuf.

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