The conflict in Marsabit is politically instigated and the government is ready to deploy the police to end it, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said on Tuesday.
“These inter-clan conflicts are politically instigated and the political leaders from the region have failed to stop the conflicts. The police are ready to move in and stop the killings,” he said on Tuesday during a meeting of Anglican Church of Kenya bishops and senior clergy in Nairobi.
“The problem of Marsabit is partially the problem of politics of that county. For the longest time, politics have played a key role in the divisions between the Borana and Gabra communities.”
Matiang’i said security agencies have held numerous meetings with political and community leaders as well as religious groups but none has yielded a solution to the recurring conflict in the region.
The Cabinet secretary referred to a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and leaders from the county who asked the government to give them more to resolve the conflict.
“There is only one option left in the case of the conflict in Marsabit and we will exercise that option. The president asked them if they really needed more time or should we allow the police to move in and stop the killings. They asked for 30 days and that deadline has lapsed yet we keep getting reports of people being killed. We are organising ourselves,” Matiang’i said.
“When we act as we will, no one should blame the government. We have done everything we could to bring about sanity in the county and to secure that place and the lives of the people. It’s not going to be fun. We will apply the maximum force of fire and act decisively in the best interest of the people.”
Bishop David Qampicha of Marsabit Diocese challenged the CS to take action to restore peace in the county.
“People are dying on a daily basis. We are pleading with the highest office in this country to help restore peace in that county,” Qampicha said.
“Every time we see calls we get worried about being told someone has been shot dead. If you delay a little bit further, you will come to bury us; it is that serious.”