Gabra leaders and professionals now claim that those behind the heinous killings that took place in Forole, Marsabit County on Monday, were individuals well-known to locals.
The leaders on Tuesday said that the attack was carried out with the knowledge and in the presence of Ethiopian district commissioners, known as Waradha, as well as regional police, and hence the identities and capacities of the attackers cannot be doubted.
Speaking in Nairobi, the Gabra leaders said the assailants hijacked a perceived peace meeting between Kenyans and Ethiopians, killing 11 elders from the Gabra community.
“The meeting was prompted by the prevailing dry spell, and the need to share the available resources. So the leaders from both divides converged to discuss the way forward in sharing the existing resources. However, the assailants pounced on the group killing the 11. Four people who were in the meeting and who escaped, three with gunshot wounds, narrated this ordeal to the authorities but nothing has been done,” said former Turbi Ward MCA Yattani Wario, who is also a member of the Gabra Council of Elders.
The leaders, who condemned the heinous attack, asked the government to intervene and facilitate the retrieval of the 11 bodies to enable the people of Forole to conduct burials of their loved ones.
“We also want the government to return the firearms confiscated from the Forole and Turbi National Police Reservists, since it is them who are the direct victims of such attacks, and a GSU base camp be deployed in Forole with immediate effect,” said Mr Wario.
Mr Wario, who also accused Governor Ali Mohamed Mahmoud and the Marsabit county government of funding and settling outsiders in parts of North Horr Sub-county and hence fanning clashes between the two communities, said they have credible information that another attack in Forole is imminent and that urgent action is needed.
“The government should also, with immediate effect, [close down] the foreign settlement at Elle Dimtu, which is protected by the Oromo Liberation Front, and consider, as a long term intervention, to open a military detachment in Forole to avert the continuous aggressions by the Ethiopian administration,” said Mr Wario.
On Monday midmorning, attackers stormed a peace meeting between the Gabra elders from Forole and Borana administrative representatives from the Mega/Dhilo area of Arbale across the Ethiopian border, leaving 11 of the elders dead and others wounded.
The leaders from the Gabra community claimed the peace meeting was a well-planned and coordinated slaying mission of the Gabra elders who were unaware of these intentions.