, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 24 – The government now says it will use force if the warring communities in Mandera and Wajir counties do not end fighting, President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned.
The president who met political leaders from Mandera and Wajir to discuss the conflict between the Garreh and Degodia clans ordered immediate surrender and mop up of illegal arms.
He warned that if peace is not restored, the government will have no choice but to mount an all-out security operation “that may have unintended consequences.”
“If the hostilities do not end, we will have no otherwise but to move in with full force,” President Kenyatta cautioned, adding that the killings of innocent children, women and the elderly cannot be tolerated.
The Head of State said his government will engage the Ethiopian Government to ensure the peaceful co-existence of all communities along the common border.
He also warned chiefs in Mandera and Wajir counties that they will be held responsible if they fail to take action and provide adequate and timely information that will help in containing acts of breach of peace.
While the government does its part, the president said he expects the leaders from both communities to impress on the two clans to co-exist peacefully as Kenyans.
Saying that the people who perpetrate the hostilities live among the communities, the Head of State said it was within the ability of the local leaders to end the violence.
“The government will accord the leaders all the necessary facilitation required in ending the hostilities and I have directed the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Joseph ole Lenku to immediately take the necessary steps in this regard.”
On their part, the leaders who included Members of the National Assembly, Members of Senate and governors among others, briefed the president on the outcome of peace meetings which have been ongoing.
The leaders said that in their earlier meetings, they resolved that the hostilities between the two clans should cease immediately and each community must restrain its members from perpetrating any more acts of violence, failure to which will lead to a communal fine of Sh10 million.
The leaders said they had also agreed that payment of blood compensation (diyya) should commence with immediate effect and there should be peace without preconditions.
They also resolved that they must all take responsibility of their areas in the promotion of peace, equity, fairness and justice.
They assured the president that they will convene more meetings and promote dialogue among the two communities with a view to ending the conflict.
The meeting was attended by Secretary to the Cabinet, Francis Kimemia, Kenya Red Cross Secretary-General Abbas Gullet and top security officers led by Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo.
Kimaiyo had on Sunday summoned all elected leaders from Mandera and Wajir Counties to record statements at the CID headquarters over attacks in the region that have left 24 people dead in the past two days.
The leaders summoned to the CID headquarters include Governors, Senators, MPs and Woman Representatives in addition to County ward representatives who have been ordered to report to the County headquarters.
Kimaiyo ordered the politicians to report to the respective CID agencies on Monday adding that those found culpable would be arrested.
At least seven leaders were grilled by the CID among them Mandera County Senator Billow Kerrow and Eldas Member of Parliament Adan Keynan.