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Calls for peace as two communities along Wajir-Marsabit border clash

Thursday June 11 2020
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Wajir Deputy Governor Ahmed Muktar, County Commissioner Jacob Narengo and other officials during a visit to Basir where they distributed food aid on June 10, 2020 following inter-clan clashes between two communities. PHOTO | BRUHAN MAKONG | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRUHAN MAKONG

At least seven people have so far died following an inter-clan clash between two communities along the Wajir-Marsabit border which began a few days ago.

Tension has continued to mount in the area as those affected by the fighting fled to Basir in the neighbouring Eldas Sub-County.

More than 150 households have been affected by the clashes.

On Wednesday, Wajir County Deputy Governor Ahmed Muktar, members of the county security team and Kenya Red Cross Society officials visited the area on a peace mission.

AID FOR DISPLACED PEOPLE

The group also donated both food and non-food items to the internal displaced persons (IDPs) in the camp.

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According to Wajir Deputy Governor Ahmed Muktar, seven people had already been buried by Wednesday while two others were yet to be buried.

Mr Muktar, who expressed his regret over the loss of lives, also said that an unknown number of people are still missing.

"We are here to condole with the members of the community following the fighting. We know that seven people have so far been buried and a number of others missing including two others who are yet to be buried," said Mr Muktar.

CALL FOR CALM

The deputy governor urged the warring communities to stay calm and stop the fighting to prevent further loss of lives as they seek an amicable solution to the problem.

According to an elder, a number of families who have also suffered property losses due to the clashes were still fleeing from the area on foot.

He added that they had deployed a number of vehicles and motorcycles in the area to rescue and provide the affected groups with food supplies and water.

Wajir County Commissioner Jacob Narengo called for peaceful co-existence among the communities as the government races to come up with a solution to the problem.

"We are appealing to the affected community in Basir and all those affected in one way or another to be tolerant of each other at this crucial moment," said Mr Narengo.

He added, “We will be going to Marsabit County for a peace dialogue and as a government, we are calling for peaceful co-existence amongst us."

PEACE CARAVAN HALTED

However, an attempt to find a common ground between the two groups was thwarted due to the tension in the area prompting the peace caravan led by the elders to be postponed to a later date.

Mr Narengo said that they would be looking for a neutral ground in the days to come to hold another meeting to reconcile the two communities.

"In future we will look for a neutral ground to hold another peace meeting even if it means Isiolo or Moyale,” said Mr Narengo.

Also present at the event were MCAs and elders among other officials.

This is not the first time that pastoralists from the region have engaged in such kind of conflict.

The recurrent fighting in the region over pasture and other resources over the years has left several people killed and dozens injured.

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