NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7- Two Marsabit County officials are among four suspects arrested by police officers drawn from the Border Patrol for supplying arms, ammunition, and ration to warring factions in the strife-torn Turbi – Sololo border.
The four were on board a county government vehicle and are said to have been supplying bandits with the arms in thickets of Funa Qumbi.
Detectives said they have since established that the county government vehicle was under the control of Sololo Member of County Assembly Halkano Konsa.
“Meanwhile, the suspects will be presented before court on Monday February 8th, while the riffle will be subjected to ballistic examination by our ballistic experts and adduced as an exhibit in court during trial,” the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said.
The County legislator is being pursued by police, after he went into hiding.
One of the County employees was found in possession of an AK-47 assault rifle, with 10 rounds ammunition, police said.
The area has lately experienced clashes between warring communities, and while it was initially linked to war over resources, authorities says it is politically motivated.
Authorities are set to kick off a major disarmament operation in the troubled Northern Kenya region, with special focus on Marsabit, Isiolo, Garissa and Wajir Counties.
“The Inspector General of Police (Hillary Mutyambai) is already working on the logistics ahead of that operation,” said Fred Matiangi, Kenya’s Interior Cabinet Secretary on January 19.
He was speaking after meeting leaders from the counties.
He said the government will also undertake an audit of the National Police Reserves in the area following a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The audit is set to inform how and where more security resources and personnel should be added so as to restore calm in the volatile region.
Matiangi said some of the violence is instigated by politicians ahead of 2022 elections.
“It is the nature of our country, when we are moving towards an election cycle, you see an escalation of inter-communal tension,” Matiangi said, while promising to crackdown on leaders inciting inter-clan violence.
We have to be very sincere, that some of these violence has a relationship to a political activity, intention or expressions,” the CS said.
He also directed area chiefs to strictly serve within their administrative units assigned to them, saying those overstepping jurisdictional boundaries will be fired.