Saturday, July 7, 2012

5,000 displaced in attacks by Merille bandits

MORE than 5,000 people have been displaced along the Kenya-Ethiopia border after frequent attacks by Merrille militiamen. The Ethiopian tribe have been attacking Kenyan villages fishermen on Lake Turkana. They have killed 9 people in the past week. "We are deploying more security teams along the border to help deal with invaders who have been tormenting our people," said Turkana North DC Albert Mwilitsa.
INSECURITY: Armed Turkana residents in Kainuk on September 2011. Photo/FileHe says the displaced families have moved away from the borders. He said although tension is high in the area, the security team would control the situation. Tension increased in the area after the Merrile killed two people at Mayan village a few kilimoters from Todonyang. Ethiopian authorities have also deployed security teams at five key points along the border.
However it has been difficult for the security personnel to stop the militias' frequent raids. "We are working closely with the Ethiopians but tensions have made it difficult to have community elders engage in dialogue so that we find lasting peace", said the DC. More than 500 fishermen have fled from Lake Turkana following the killings of five of their colleagues by the militiamen. Fishing activities on the lake have been paralysed.
Clashes between fishermen from the two countries are blamed for the killings. The fishermen were attacked and shot dead on the shores of the lake.  “Fishing cannot flourish with insecurity all over. We have agreed that we need to jointly restore the security situation so that our people can engage in commercial fishing,” Mwilitsa said.
The government has proposed to increase the number of marine security personnel on the lake from the current ten to thirty. They will be given an extra motor boat to be used for patrolling on the lake which lies on the border between the two countries. However the lake is largely controlled by the Ethiopian groups making it difficult for Kenyan fishermen to operate.

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