, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned that the government will deal decisively with foreigners found to be participating in the Moyale conflict.
The Secretary of Communication and State House Manoah Esipisu said Kenyatta had expressed deep concerned over the fresh outbreak of fighting amongst communities in Moyale on Friday.
“The President has warned that should there be any foreign elements participating in the conflict, they will be dealt with by the full force of the law,” read the statement from the spokesman.
He said the President had ordered immediate significant beefing up of security on the ground and adequate reinforcements had been deployed in the area.
In his statement, the President noted that community leaders “are actively engaged in discussions on restoring calm and tranquillity.”
“The President expects the discussions to result in a sustainable and lasting solution to the challenges that the communities face.”
The Kenya Red Cross earlier told Capital FM News that renewed clashes were reported on Friday morning with reports of heavy gunfire renting the air well into the afternoon.
The Red Cross confirmed that people with gunshot wounds have been taken to hospital. There were also reports of hundreds fleeing to the neighbouring Ethiopia.
Kenya Defence Forces officers were forced to intervene after the police and the paramilitary General Service Unit were overwhelmed.
Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani said the KDF officers reportedly used mortar to fend off attackers who fired at a military convoy.
Marsabit County leaders led by Governor Yattani and County Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru remained holed up in a hotel and under heavy protection from the security personnel.
Nakoru confirmed the heavy fighting between the Borana on one side and Gabra and Burji on the other adding that the combatants were armed with machine guns and even mortar.
Both Kenya and Ethiopia have deployed heavy security to their common border to prevent fighters from crossing into either side.