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Security agents warn traders, politicians behind Mandera clashes

Sunday October 20 2019

Mandera Mashujaa Day

Mandera County Police Commander Jeremiah Kossiom, County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha and Governor Ali Roba during celebrations to mark the 10th Mashujaa Day on October 20, 2019. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MANASE OTSIALO
By MANASE OTSIALO
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The government's security apparatus are in hot pursuit of planners, financiers and inciters of the inter-clan clashes that continue to rock Mandera County.

County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha said on Saturday that they were interested in individuals including local politicians and business people.

Mr Kyatha said they were willing to go as far as Norway to find these financiers.

He added that security agencies were analysing the phone records of people he did not name and that arrests would follow.

“We are following up on all suspects. Anybody who has been taking part in causing inter-clan skirmishes will be dealt with according to the law,” he said during celebrations to mark the 10th Mashujaa Day.

TENSION

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Clashes in the county in September left at least 11 people dead.

“We are aware of more plans that have caused tension in the county. I assure you all that we are on the lookout," Mr Kyatha said.

“We need to understand why locals always turn against each other. The government is ready to deal with this once and for all."

Regarding the Banisa clan killings, the commissioner said all suspects would be arrested.

Mr Kyatha condemned the deep-rooted tribalism in Mandera, terming it a development setback.

“We have to end tribalism if we want any kind of development for future generations,” he said.

UNACCEPTABLE

Governor Ali Roba regretted the return of inter-clan clashes and called for peace and tolerance.

“I must express my absolute disappointment with the recent senseless killings in Banisa. Just as we breathed a sigh of relief after tribal conflicts and persistent terror attacks, we were rudely interrupted by the senseless killing of innocent people,” Mr Roba said.

The skirmishes are unacceptable, he said, and warned that his administration will not sit back and watch as the county slides into periods of bloodshed.

“We refuse to go back to that painful state characterised by human suffering. The people of Mandera should know too well the price of conflict"

“We must all protect the relative calm we have been enjoying since 2015. I call upon the communities and the sounty security team to make sure the criminals involved in this heinous acts are brought to book."

Police are holding four suspects in connection to the Banisa skirmishes while more are being sought in Ethiopia.

On Friday, police failed to charge the four but asked for more time to hold them them as they pursued more suspects.