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Tensions returns to Marsabit as attackers kill man, steal 250 cattle

Wednesday July 3 2019

Chief Godana Galgalo

Rawana location Chief Godana Galgalo speaks to journalist following a fresh attack that left one person dead at Elle-Bor in Marsabit County on July 3, 2019. PHOTO | JACOB WALTER | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JACOB WALTER
By JACOB WALTER
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Barely a week since a ceasefire agreement between the Borana and Gabbra communities in Marsabit County, fresh clashes have been reported at Elle-Bor.

One person, 56-year-old Denge Gufu, was shot dead by unknown assailants at dawn on Wednesday. The four people he was with at the time of the attack escaped.

Rawana location Chief Godana Galgalo said the attackers were about six in number.

“They attacked a for a grazing camp and also killed five cattle. More than 250 other cattle are missing," he said, adding the attack was reported to Sololo and Turbi police stations.

CRIME SCENE

Abduba Dengicha said he rushed to the Walda location chief and Sololo Police Station after learning about the attack at about 2am.

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The officers found the man's body and the cattle's carcasses when they reached the scene at about 6am.

Mr Dengicha said the animals belonged to one Mzee Tari Abdi and that he was missing.

Residents said the attackers must have used powerful weapons, based on the number of bullets fired in a short time span.

The Nation learnt on Wednesday that 48 spent cartridges were found at the scene.

The assailants' footsteps led to Iddo village in Maikona Ward, about 40km away.

FEAR

Mr Gufu was buried at around midday, a ceremony at which fearful residents asked the government to open an inquest so as to get to the bottom of the violence.

Tension was high as the incident followed the June 29 meeting in Marsabit town of local political and religious leaders, community members and representatives of the national government.

In addition, three attacks have taken place in 10 days. On June 22, a group made away with Mzee Did Gollo and Boru Dida’s 250 cattle.

And shortly after the truce was signed at Jirime Resort Centre, attackers reportedly shot and injured two non-locals who had been drilling a borehole in Elle-Dimtu village. One of the victims died later.

"FED UP"

Galma Dabaso, a former chief and Sololo Sub-county Peace chairperson, appealed to the government to thoroughly investigate the incidents and bring them to an end.

"We call on the government to get to the bottom of the matter since we’re fed up. We’re also human ... we have feelings," he said.

Mr Dabaso regretted that tension had once again gripped the area.

“It is unfortunate that in less than a week since we signed an agreement that brought hope of lasting peace, people are sending strong signals that they’re not ready for peace," he said, adding the assailants were well known to residents and police.

Mr Dabaso said their motive is to subvert peace deals between the two major communities in the county and hamper development.

He noted that they slowed down in their push for justice as security agents asked residents to allow them to deal with the matter.