Following an attack in Forole, Marsabit on Monday in which 11 people were shot dead and others seriously injured, some leaders from the county now claim that the victims had gone to raid a community in neighbouring Ethiopia.
MPs Dido Ali Raso (Saku) and Qalicha Gufu (Moyale) said the Kenyans from North Horr Constituency who died in the attack were not on any peace mission as claimed by some people but were killed while participating in direct combat.
“Our cross-border meeting between Kenya and Ethiopia is very well structured. It is unusual for any cross-border peace meeting to be undertaken without the knowledge and involvement of the security officers at the county and sub-county levels,” Mr Raso said.
Addressing journalists at Parliament buildings in Nairobi on Thursday, the two lawmakers regretted the incident, saying it is a major setback to the fragile peace that has been realised in the area for the past one month.
“We wish to set the record straight with regard to the circumstances of this particular incident. There was no peace mission that Kenyans went to in Ethiopia; those who died were participating in direct combat with the neighbouring community,” Mr Raso said.
Two people were also wounded in the incident and another four are reported missing.
Initial reports indicated that insurgents from Ethiopia hoodwinked residents of Ulan village into attending a peace meeting over a disputed pool of water only to open fire on them.
LEADERS NOT TO BLAME
Mr Raso and Mr Gufu also absolved local leaders from any blame in regard to the attack that led the deaths of the 11 people.
“This particular incident had nothing to do with internal politics and conflicts of Marsabit County or between communities or even leaders at all levels. Anyone purporting such is just intent on maligning leaders and communities,” Mr Raso said.
The leaders also called on the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to order for the arrest of Mr Pius Yattani, accusing him of issuing reckless statements which they said could easily stir conflict between communities in the region.