Calm has returned to Banisa in Mandera County after a day of tensions following a raid in a village by suspected clan militias that claimed at least nine lives Tuesday morning.
Speaking by phone from the town on the border with Ethiopia, Mandera County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha confirmed that the situation has normalised.
“I have been here monitoring the situation since yesterday (Tuesday) and I can report that the situation is calm as we continue to search for culprits,” he said.
Mr Kyatha said enough security personnel have been deployed to the area that recorded nine deaths after clan militia believed to be from the Degodia community raided a village inhabited by the Garre.
“We have made some arrests but I cannot tell how many because we are still looking for more suspects. Our officers are closing in and by the end of the day I will announce how many suspects we have,” Mr Kyatha said.
He also did not reveal if police have managed to recover any weapons used in the raid in Dohmal village.
The county security chief assured residents of Banisa of the government’s commitment to dealing with what appears to be a resurgence of inter-clan clashes.
“The government is fully in charge and we request for calm and tolerance as we carry out investigations,” he said.
He warned locals against revenging the Dohmal raid as he promised to ensure that security teams deal with the situation firmly.
“We cannot solve a problem [using] another problem and therefore I urge those affected not to retaliate this incident but leave everything to be handled by government,” he said.
He vowed to camp in Banisa until all culprits are arrested.
“We have all the security apparatus here including the military with all police units that are ready to do what is expected of us,” he said.
He appealed to the locals to provide the much needed information to help in apprehending the suspects.
Bnaisa MP Hassan Kulow Maalim called on security agencies to ensure all the culprits are arrested and prosecuted.
“I appeal for calm in Banisa as the security agencies search for suspects who must be prosecuted for what they have done,” said Mr Maalim.
Mr Maalim challenged the security team to ensure the area is safe from any further attacks.
According to the MP, Banisa has been experiencing clan feuds that end up claiming lives but no conclusive investigations or arrests and prosecutions are done.
“To end this menace, we need a police station within Dohmal and the housing will be done through National Government Constituency Development Fund so that such incidents are responded to in time,” he said.
The raid, according a local elder, was due to a land ownership feud between the Garre and the Degodia clans.
The affected clan is said to have moved from Malka-ruka in the same sub-county to Dohmal due to clan feuds but they were planning to return to their original homes.
“The Degodia clan does not want this Garre community back in Malka-ruka area and we believe this is the cause of this raid to send that message,” the elder who chose to remain anonymous said.
The county commissioner said the cause of the attack will only be known once investigations are concluded.