Tension high after murder of North Kenya residents
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Tension remained high for the better
part of Friday in northern Kenyan town of Mandera,
after two people were killed on Friday by militia,
according to local authorities in Rhamu.The residents said the deceased
from one of the warring clans were ambushed at
dawn by a militia group said to be from one of
the rival clans residing in the area, killing
them on the spot in Rhamu town.
Mandera County Commissioner
Michael Ole-Tailal confirmed the ambush, and put
the number of those who died to two.
"I can confirm to you that
two people were on Friday morning killed by a
group of militia.
"They struck the town and
proceeded to open fire at the villagers
indiscriminately, we understand the attack is
politically motivated," said Tailal told
Xinhua by telephone.
However according to a resident
from Rhamu who spoke to Xinhua on phone those
killed were seven.
"I am right at the mortuary
and I have counted seven bodies lying there.
"I still don’t know which
clan the seven are from, they are all men and
all have gun wounds," said a witness.
The County Commissioner said a
contingent of police officers had been deployed in
the area in a bid to restore order.
"We have managed to stop
more bloodsheds and are trying to pursue the
militias who fled after the attack, we are sure
we will catch up with them," said Tailal.
Garre and Degodia clans, who have
co-existed in Mandera and Wajir counties for years
harmoniously, have turned bitter foes after 2007
general election, after the former clan lost its
traditional Mandera central constituency to the
Garre, who are majority in the
constituency, lost the seat to Abdikhadir Mohamed,
a Degodia after Garre votes were divided among
over four candidates contesting. Mohamed has since
announced that he would not contest election in
March 4 elections.
The two warring clans of Degodia
and Garre that reside in the county have hard
endless wrangles with each clan trying to outdo
The wrangles have led to scores
Early this year with a few weeks
left to election, more than 20 people were
killed from both sides.
The killings were linked to
Hundreds of families from the
warring clans has fled from far- flung areas
dominated by their rival clan for fear of been
caught in the recurring reprisal attacks pitting
the paternalists Somali sub-clans of Garre and
Livestock herding is the main
livelihood and source of income in northern and
some parts of eastern Kenya, and the hike in
cattle thefts threatens to ignite
cross-community reprisals and raids that could
trigger ethnic fighting in the region.
Clashes between the rival cattle
herding pastoralists in the region are common,
with herders often carrying guns to protect their
animals, but the recent fighting has been