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Military sent to town after Moyale protests

By -LIBAN GOLICHA and ALI ABDI | August 9th 2013


Marsabit County: The military has been deployed to patrol the border town of Moyale following a confrontation between the residents and security personnel that left one person dead.

During the day-long protest on Wednesday, a human rights activist and NGO official was gunned down while two civilians and a police officer were injured.

Three government offices including that of the assistant county commissioner for Central Division were looted and set ablaze.

Residents barricaded major roads including those leading to the provincial and police headquarters accusing the sub-county security committee of taking sides in the differences and pitting two rival sides against each other.

‘‘We demand that the national government transfers top administration and security personnel in Moyale sub-county. They are part of the problem that we have,’’ said Guyo Halake, a former Moyale MP.

During the demonstration, the department of Youth and Sports, Land and Housing were among those looted and property of unknown value  either stolen or torched.

The human rights activist identified as Hassan Ali was gunned down near the department of Registration at around 6.30pm, allegedly by army officers from Odha Camp.

Ali was a programme director, Strategies for Northern Development, an NGO based in Moyale.

The protests erupted after rumours that Bori Chief Jillo Boru had been summoned to the deputy county commissioner’s office and disarmed.

But the deputy County Commissioner Allan Machari dismissed the claims, saying the chief was summoned on normal duty.

Recent attack

He assured the protesters that his office had not interdicted the chief or disarmed him.

The County Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru yesterday said the army was deployed at around 5pm to safeguard the border but was not involved in quelling of the street demonstration adding that the situation had returned to normal. ‘‘We had a problem on Wednesday but life is now back to normal. We have put the necessary security measures in place,’’ he said.

Marsabit County Police Commander Erastus Mothamia confirmed one person was killed during the demonstration and a man was shot in the hand.

Mr Nakoru called on the leaders from all the communities in the county to work together in fostering peace. ‘‘All the leaders in Moyale and the larger Marsabit area should work together. We want all communities to co-exist peacefully for the sake of development,’’ he said.

The chief had reportedly been asked to record a statement on activities of people in his location believed to be behind a recent attack.


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