A provincial administrator in Moyale fled into Ethiopia together with 25 police reservists following tribal hostilities in the area.
The Funanyata sub-location assistant chief, Mr Boya Kala, led more than 50 families from his village to cross the boundary to Ethiopia’s region V on Saturday.
Authorities in Moyale until yesterday were trying to trace the chief who surrendered to Ethiopia together with his villagers.
Tribal animosity returned to the area last week when five people were killed in a flare-up that has raised tension in the border district.
Upper Eastern province deputy PC Isaiah Nakoru down-played the escape saying that Mr Kala did not raise an alarm with his seniors concerning his security.
Mr Nakoru added that the chief’s escape into Ethiopia baffled him since it was unexpected for an administrator to surrender to a foreign country.
“I will have to follow up on the issue since it is a serious matter of concern to the nation,” said Mr Nakoru.
Tribal conflict in Moyale was over settlement ownership according to locals but the security agencies point to a spill-over of southern Ethiopian conflict between the two communities.
According to an Igad conflict early warning officer in Moyale who sought anonymity, the chief should has sought refuge at the nearby Odha military camp.
By surrendering, the chief denounced his nationality and changed allegiance to another nation, he said.
Since Friday, there has been gun battles between APs on the border and tribal militia suspected to have been hired to back their communities.