NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21- A section of leaders from North Eastern province are now blaming tribal clashes in Ethiopia for the ongoing conflict in the north.
Led by Mandera West MP Mohamed Mahamud, the group argued that Ethiopian problems were spilling over into the country, increasing the need to tighten security along the border.
Mahamud told journalists in Nairobi on Tuesday, that the conflict between the Garre and Degodia communities, over land, could only be quelled if the government stopped the two from crisscrossing the border.
“In Ethiopia, the two communities are at war and they are fighting over land. A lot of people have, as a result, been displaced in Kenya and Ethiopia and there is a lot of counter attack across the border so in hot pursuit people are dying,” he explained.
Mahamud further urged the government to deploy more security forces to man the area before the situation gets out of hand.
He noted that although 100 General Service Unit police had been dispatched to the region, they were hardly enough to contain the volatile state of affairs.
“The General Service Unit were deployed to the region in February this year, at our request, but they are not enough so we are also asking for regular police and Administration Police because we need to increase security along the border,” he stressed.
Former area MP Mohamed Abdi also claimed that some of the militia had been using Mandera town as their training base.
He emphasised the need to flash them out so as to restore peace in the region.
“The people of Mandera West, Central and East cannot communicate simply because roads have been closed and the areas have been enclaved. As a result the area has become a base for militia. These people must be ousted from Mandera County,” he said.
The group further urged local leaders to refrain from politicising the matter saying such exchanges would only makes things worse.
Mahamud added that blame games over the clashes were also retrogressive.
“These two communities have been living together harmoniously for the many years so we need to stop politicising the issue by bringing in unnecessary dimensions,” argued Mahamud.
The leaders had earlier castigated Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohammed accusing him of misinterpreting the matter.
They told him off for addressing the media on the issue on Monday saying there was no politics surrounding the conflict.
“We have mention of the Garre Defence Force, given by our brothers yesterday. That terminology is not known to us; it’s only known to them. Such a parliamentary and baseless statement is very serious and cannot contribute to peace,” emphasised Mahamud.
Abdi also urged the Ethiopian authorities to contain the situation on their end.