Seven family members killed in clan clashes at Mandera border

A security officer inspects some of the property damaged in the ongoing inter-clan clashes in Mandera. [Standard]

The cross border clashes in Mandera County have wiped out almost an entire family as the only surviving member fights for his life in hospital.

Hared Sheikh Muhumed lost his two wives and five children in the fighting that erupted in Banisa sub-county on Tuesday between clans living in Kenyan and those across the border in Ethiopia. He also lost a female relative. 

He is undergoing treatment at Mandera Referral Hospital. 

Fighting broke out over a dispute over water and pasture. Long lasting hostilities are also being linked to the clashes. The county has been experiencing inter-clan skirmishes over the years with leaders from the warring communities trying to restore peace.

Grudges from previous killings also remain a scar in some communities, even as committees formed to broker peace have not been able to cure the problem in Banisa and Mandera North sub counties.

Mandera Governor Mohamed Khalif who has been on a peace mission since the fights broke out said elders from the warring clans have agreed to bury the hatchet. 

Speaking at a public baraza in Banisa, Khalf reiterated the commitment of leaders to ensure peaceful existence amongst all the communities in the county. 

“I regret that lives have been lost. Camels have also been killed and people displaced, but now have settled the dispute and will distribute relief food across all the clans within the sub county,” said Khalif.

“As leaders, we are here today to engage both communities to ensure a return to normalcy,” he added.

Mandera Senator Ali Roba urged the communities to desist from turning criminal incidents to clan issues. “When a criminal kills an individual, we should not make it a clan issue but instead follow up the killer and hand over them to police.” 

Mandera North MP Bashir Abdullahi challenged the government to take action against anyone who breaches the peace. “I am urging the governments from both sides of the border (Kenya and Ethiopia) to deal with people causing conflicts among peace loving communities.” 

Also in attendance at the peace meetings held for three consecutive days were all elected leaders from Mandera and some from neighbouring Wajir County.