14 killed in Kenya inter-ethnic clashes

Nairobi, June 17 (IANS) At least 14 people have been killed in renewed inter-ethnic clashes in the past two days in Kenya’s Mandera county, officials said on Wednesday.

Deputy-County Commissioner Samuel said nine people were killed at around 6 a.m. on Wednesday in a remote village in Malka-Mari division, after heavily armed assailants raided the village, Xinhua reported.

“They were killed in Chiriko village in Banisa sub-county. We don’t know the assailants, but it could be an act of retaliatory action,” the government administrator said.

On Tuesday, five pastoralists from the same family were killed in a border village by gunmen suspected to be from a rival Degodia clan.

The family, who left Elmole village in Banisa sub-county few days ago in pursuit of pasture and water for their animals, were killed at Wari Walo village some 10 kms from Kenya border.

“It is retrogressive for people to fight at this time when the country, and particularly Mandera county, is faced with the threats of common enemy (Al-Shabaab). We urge the rival communities to show a lot of restrain,” Mwati said.

Mandera, a town riddled with past explosive attacks from Islamist terror group Al-Shabaab that is based in neighbouring war-ravaged Somalia and incessant inter clan fighting between the minority Degodia and the majority Garre community, has been enjoying a relative calm in the past few months.

Both Garre and Degodia have communal presence and have sophisticated armed militia. The two warring clans have over the years been fighting for supremacy and control of the county, something that has degenerated into clashes.

The clashes led to the government deploying a contingent of security personnel to quell the clashes in July last year. The locals have also been asked to surrender the firearms they had in their possession through the disarmament programme.

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