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Isiolo leaders say police biased when dealing with unrest

Tuesday March 26 2019

Modogashe skirmishes

From left: Sericho MCA Nura Diba, Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti, Woman Rep Rehema Jaldesa, Isiolo North MP Hassan Oda and Isiolo South MP Abdi Koropu speak shortly after landing from Modogashe on March 26, 2019. The leaders accused some security agents of bias while dealing with recent skirmishes. PHOTO | VIVIAN JEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VIVIAN JEBET
By VIVIAN JEBET
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Political leaders from Isiolo County have accused security agencies of unfairness in the execution of their mandate.

This follows the recent skirmishes that rocked Modogashe township near the disputed Isiolo-Garissa border and which pitted two communities.

The leaders alleged that some security officials from Lagdera supervised Sunday's arson attack in Modogashe and failed to prevent the violent acts.

At least three people have died since Friday last week while three others have reportedly been injured in attacks and counter missions by two warring pastoralist communities.

ASSESS DAMAGE

Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti, Woman Rep Rehema Jaldesa, MPs Abdi Koropu (Isiolo South) and Hassan Oda (Isiolo North) and Sericho Ward MCA Nura Diba visited Modogashe to calm locals and assess damages caused after several buildings were torched by assailants suspected to be from Lagdera Sub-County in Garissa.

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The leaders, who denounced the attacks said, there is a serious rift between security teams from Lagdera and Garbatulla sub-counties in Garissa and those from Isiolo counties, accusing some officers from Lagdera of supervising reckless destruction of property in Modogashe on Sunday and Monday.

REVENGE ATTACKS

Tension remains high along the border over fears of revenge attacks with government officials led by the Regional Commissioner Isiah Nakoru and County Commissioner John Ondego visiting Modogashe Tuesday in a bid to restore calm.

The assailants, according to the leaders, torched private business premises, burnt generators used for pumping water from the only borehole in the area and vandalised public amenities including a primary school and a health centre.

Governor Kuti attributed the ethnic animosity to the existing border row between Isiolo and Garissa counties, asking the national government through the Ministry of Interior to speed up demarcation which he said would bring the persistent problem to an end.

CALL FOR PROBE

While asking Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to investigate and take action against some security officers, the three MPs hit out at the officers alleged to have supervised the wanton destruction of property in Modogashe, saying that they made no effort to prevent the violent arson attack.

“It is said that the arson attack happened under the supervision of an officer from Lagdera. Instead of maintaining law and order, the officer chose to oversee that atrocity committed against innocent civilians,” said Ms Jaldesa.

IPOA

She called on the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to investigate and take action against the said government official.

She regretted that there is selective use of justice and State apparatus against innocent civilians in Modogashe, calling for arrest of perpetrators whom she claimed are well known.

The leaders further asked Dr Matiang’i to deploy more police officers in Modogashe in order to contain the situation.

Governor Kuti pledged to distribute relief food and replace the torched generators so as to solve the water scarcity problem.

Last week, CS Matiang’i visited Isiolo and issued a stern warning to leaders linked to inter-communal conflicts saying elements of political incitement had been reported in the region.

On Friday last week, two herders from Lagdera were killed and one was injured at Quri grazing ground in Garbatulla Sub-County.