Thursday, December 08, 2022

5 killed in ethnic violence outbreak in Kenya’s Marsabit

Kenya’s Marsabit county is one of the country’s popular tourist attractions, but the unrest triggered by ethnic conflicts in the region is crippling economic activity, said Nuno Galma, a driver in the city.

“Whenever bandits attack our city my business gets affected. As a merchant when I hear gunshots, I have to run away.”

Kenyan officials said the two major ethnic groups in the county, whose source of livelihood is pastoralism, fight over natural resources. Both groups access illegal firearms smuggled in from neighboring Ethiopia.

The state declared a 30-day evening curfew to crack down on illegal firearms and ammunition. Bruno Shioso is the spokesman for the Kenya Police.

“We have increased surveillance as it has been declared an uninhabited area,” Shisoso said. “We have increased the number of police. We are happy because the leaders of the area are talking now, they are coming out to talk, so we are confident that as we continue our work, so will the leaders of the area. Will preach peace.”

Security expert George Masmali said cross-border conflict in Ethiopia is fueling unrest in Marsabit, especially because of the unsafe border, which he said enables people to smuggle weapons.

“Remember that some communities have families across the border and the Kenya-Ethiopia border is so porous, you will find people moving from Ethiopia joining their relatives in Kenya and fighting against another clan,” Masmali said. . “It is easier for them to smuggle weapons from Kenya to Ethiopia and vice versa.”

Dozens of people have been killed in recent months in what officials have called a political struggle to control resources.

Kenya’s Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said security operations in Marsabit could be extended until the state got rid of illegal weapons in the region.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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