Kenya, Ethiopia partner to curb insecurity

August 12, 2011 2:22 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – The government on Thursday said it had partnered with Ethiopian authorities to curb insecurity along the shared border following the increased killing of Kenyans by Merille tribesmen as the ravaging drought continues to bite.

At least 20 Kenyans died in an attack in Todonyang’ last week, while another 40 were killed in another attack in May.

During his weekly briefings, Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said that the two countries would work together to bring sanity along the border and ensure that the militias responsible were prosecuted.

“You cannot get rid of your neighbours. They are like your siblings; you don’t choose them you happen to have them so what you have to do is maintain a system of stability where you can interact with them. These cross-border wars never help anything,” he argued.

The Merille have been raiding Kenyan homesteads to steal livestock at times walking away with more than 200 heads of cattle.

Last month, the Kenyan government announced that it would, in partnership with Ethiopia, establish a water sharing framework to bring to an end the animosity between communities living on both sides of the border.

Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti, who led a high-powered delegation to Addis Ababa in June, said the two countries had formed a technical committee to study the viability of the project which will commence soon.

Meanwhile Dr Mutua has also called on Kenyans to offer any transport facilities they may have to help distribute relief aid to the needy communities. He explained that although money had been raised to feed the starving Kenyans, it was getting increasingly difficult to distribute the relief food.

“We request anyone who has vehicles that we can use to avail them. As much as we appreciate the Kenyans4Kenya initiative what is lacking is transportation and not food,” he explained.

He added that the government had so far allocated Sh10.45 billion in the crisis although it planned on spending Sh30 billion to mitigate the effects of the ongoing famine. He also revealed that 625,000 cans of ready-to-eat meat were also being distributed, from the Kenya Meat Commission, to supplement the relief food.

“Instead of just giving maize and beans we are also giving meat so that those who are really suffering can get it to replenish their energy and immune systems and heal faster,” he said.

Dr Mutua also said that half a million bags of relief maize had been released by the special programmes ministry.

This comes at a time when the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture claims that it has evidence on the distribution of substandard maize which is not fit for human consumption.

Committee chairman John Mututho on Wednesday alleged that there was an ongoing syndicate at the port of Mombasa involving Kenya Revenue Authority officials who were authorising the foods in to the country without approval by the Kenya Bureau of Statistics.

Last week the Naivasha MP stunned Parliament when he presented documents allegedly proving that imported Genetically Modified Maize (GMO) was already being distributed in the country.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga however refuted the statements saying it would be illegal for anyone to distribute the products as the guidelines on their importation had not yet been gazetted. He however promised to look into the claims.

Although Dr Mutua observed that the famine was causing food prices to escalate, he did not reveal what the government was doing to cushion Kenyans against it.


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