Tension at Turkana North border after gunmen shoot dead Ethiopian government official

Some Merille youth keenly follow peace talks at Natira in the Todonyang along the Kenya-Ethiopia border point recently. [Lucas Ngasike, Standard]

Tension remains high in Todonyang and Kibish border villages in Turkana North after gunmen shot dead an Ethiopian government official in a retaliatory attack.

There are fears the incident might fuel more trouble between the Turkana and Merille communities.

Kibish Deputy County Commissioner Samuel Kiarie said intelligence reports showed some Merille members were out to retaliate after the official was shot dead by assailants suspected to have crossed over to the Kenyan side.

Kiarie said two weeks ago, some Turkana peace actors were tricked to attend a meeting at the border where five of them were killed.

“We are negotiating with our Ethiopian counterparts to quell growing tension at the border. We lost some herders in peace talks after they were lured by some suspected members of the Merille community to a peace mission. Some suspected armed bandits crossed to Ethiopia and shot dead a government officer. We have some information that some government officials were being targeted in retaliation,” he said.