Kenya protests to Ethiopia over Turkana attacks

May 5, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Kenya has now written to the Ethiopian government to protest the attacks which occurred in Turkana district on Tuesday where 38 people were killed and dozens wounded.

Hundreds of families were also displaced in the attacks carried out by Dasenach Merille tribesmen from Ethiopia.

Internal Security Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode told journalists on Thursday that the government had formally protested over the killings which have caused tension amongst members of the Turkana communities living at the border point.

He said Kenyan authorities were due to hold peace meetings with their counterparts in Ethiopia to seek a lasting solution over the attacks amid fears of possible retaliatory attacks.

“We will also initiate peace and reconciliation meetings in Kenya and between Kenyans and Ethiopians living at the border for a lasting solution,” Mr Ojode said.

The Assistant Minister said authorities had positively identified 10 women, 10 men of Turkana origin as well as four Merille tribesmen. The rest had not been identified.

Area Provincial Commissioner Osman Warfa had on Wednesday put the toll at 38.

Trouble is reported to have started when four Merile tribesmen ambushed a group of fishermen near Lake Turkana and killed their leader.

“In the commotion that ensued, unknown Turkana persons in quick retaliation shot the four merille militiamen dead,” he said.

As a result, some members of the Dasenach Merille community escaped from Turkana village and ran towards the Ethiopian direction for their

“On their way to Ethiopia, it is alleged that they met a group of Dasenach Merille who were escorting a group of Turkana community members who had gone to Siees village to purchase food. Word reached them that their colleagues had been killed by Turkanas at the Todonyang Mission compound; that is when they turned against the Turkanas they were escorting and killed nine men, 10 women bringing the total number of Turkanas killed to 20,” the Assistant Minister said.

Both of the two communities from the two countries are semi nomadic who are known to co-exist but they often clash and resort to gun fights to settle their differences.

On Thursday, Mr Ojode announced that General Service Unit personnel and Administration Police officers stationed at Todonyang would be relocated to the border point to carry out patrols, following fears that the members from either communities may retaliate.

Those killed were buried late Wednesday at the Todonyang Catholic Church cemetery.


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