Wednesday, December 18, 2013

▶ Kenyans Flee Moyale, Seek Refuge In Ethiopia -

▶ Kenyans Flee Moyale, Seek Refuge In Ethiopia - YouTube: ""

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Kenyan police arrest 33 Ethiopians in border town -

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Kenyan authorities on Tuesday arrested 33 Ethiopian aliens in the border town of Moyale in the northern part of the East African nation.

Marsabit County Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru said the aliens were arrested by police officers on patrols during an operation to flush out militias following recent inter-ethnic clashes in the region.

"The suspects were on their way to Nairobi via Marsabit when the police officers on patrol intercepted them in the border areas, " Nakoru said on Tuesday.

He said the aliens in their early 20s and 30s were intercepted in Arosa area with no valid documents to cross over to the Kenyan side.

Nakoru said the security agents have increased surveillance along the Ethiopia-Kenya border following recent clashes that saw several people killed and dozens of others injured.

Nakoru warned the brokers aiding the aliens to cross over to the country that their days a numbered. He said senior businessmen were behind the cartels where they aid aliens and criminals to sneak into the country.

"We have deployed police and Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) in Moyale who still continue to patrol the areas until we eliminate militias and other crimes in the area," said Nakoru.

The commissioner said more than 100 aliens cross through the vast region in a week through Nairobi to South Africa in search of employment and other opportunities.

The government is worried over the mass exodus of the aliens from Ethiopia into the country to connect to South Africa where they are promised greener pasture for employment.

"I am warning the brokers that there days are number because we shall not sit back and watch selfish people engage in unlawful business to enrich themselves," said Nakoru

He directed security committees to strengthen their intelligence in order to curb human smuggling and any other unlawful business in the area.

On Dec. 10, the police in Nairobi arrested over 70 Ethiopians during the security operation conducted in Nairobi's residential estates.

The 71 men and women told police they were headed for South Africa in search of employment. Divisional police commander, Barasa Wabomba said they also arrested a man who was hosting the aliens.

Police said they arrested 58 of them earlier on Dec. 9 and 13 on the day before. The suspects were in a house when police stormed and it has been difficult for police to handle them because they neither speak English nor Swahili. It is not the first time that such suspects on transit are arrested.

Tens of Ethiopians are annually arrested in Kenya while on transit. It is not clear how they manage to navigate through various police roadblocks.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Death toll from Nairobi bus blast rises to six: Kenyan police - Indian Express

KenyaIt was the fourth attack during a week in which a total of 15 people have died since Tuesday. (Reuters)
Kenyan police were on Sunday investigating an explosion in a Nairobi bus the day before that killed six people and wounded 30 others, the latest in a string of unclaimed attacks as the country marks 50 years of independence.
The death toll from the blast rose to six on Saturday after two injured people died from their wounds overnight, police said.
Nairobi police chief Benson Kibue said a suspect was being questioned over the attack on the 32-seat vehicle on Saturday, which came from the Eastleigh neighbourhood, dubbed "Little Mogadishu" because it is mainly populated by Somali immigrants and Kenyans of Somali origin.
"We lost two of the victims in hospital where about 30 others are still admitted," Kibue said. "We now have six people dead out of that incident."
Police were trying to determine whether the powerful explosion was caused by a grenade or an improvised explosive device and whether it was placed in the bus, carried by a passenger or flung from outside. The blast hit several cars near the bus, killing at least one of the motorists, according to witnesses.
"We have one suspect who was arrested soon after the incident. He is assisting us in the investigations," Kibue said.
On Sunday, the situation was calm in Eastleigh after police on late Saturday dispersed some rioters in the street where the blast took place. Police forces were not particularly visible in the area, nor in the rest of the Kenyan capital.
It was the fourth attack during a week in which Kenya marked its 50th anniversary of independence from Britain, leaving a total of 15 people dead since Tuesday.
No links have as yet been established between the attacks, none of which has been claimed by any group.
Suspicion for some of them, though, has focused on Kenya's two-year military intervention in neighbouring Somalia to oust Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Kenya sends troops to end militia fighting in north | Reuters


Tullow Oil PLC
* Fighting blamed on local political squabbles
* Border sealed after thousands flee into Ethiopia
* Local officials say 10 killed, residents say more than 20
By Noor Ali
ISIOLO, Kenya, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Kenya said on Friday it had sent troops to its northern region to stop a week of fighting between rival ethnic groups that has killed at least 10 people and sent thousands fleeing across the border into Ethiopia.
Joseph ole Lenku, the cabinet minister for internal security, said in a statement that parliament had approved the deployment of the Kenya Defence Forces. He did not say how many troops had been sent or how long they would remain.
Rural communities in northern Kenya have long clashed over the control of valuable grazing land, but the fighting in the town of Moyale has marked an escalation in tension.
Residents say politicians in the region, some 800 km (500 miles) from the capital Nairobi, are using clan militia to jostle for power in new local administrations that have been formed since a March 4 election, and to settle old scores.
More than 20,000 people have fled into Ethiopia, residents and a Kenya Red Cross worker said. Others are seeking refuge at the local police post. The border has since been closed to prevent militia from entering Kenya, security officials said.
Security officials in Moyale said 10 people had been killed in fierce fighting between rival ethnic groups - Borana on one side and an alliance of Gabra and Burji on the other. They battled with guns and mortars, officials said. Local people put the death toll at more than 20, with dozens wounded.
Issiah Nakoru, the county commissioner, said he had received reports of 10 deaths.
"We are liaising with security officials in Ethiopia to ensure no foreign fighters cross into Kenya," Nakoru said. He said Kenyan troops patrolling the vast, harsh terrain had arrested several people suspected of involvement in the fighting.
Tit-for-tat clashes have also been reported this month in the northwestern Turkana region, an area where explorer Tullow Oil has discovered oil deposits. More than 10 people have been killed in those clashes, and thousands displaced.
Although Tullow's operations have not been affected by the fighting, the oil company was forced to temporarily halt drilling for two weeks in October after local residents stormed their drilling sites demanding more jobs and benefits.
Kenya has sent in extra security forces to the north in the past, but sporadic and low-key fighting has continued after the officers have pulled out.
Many homesteads in the region have weapons to deter invaders, while herders often carry guns to protect their animals because there is barely any police presence.

The entire arid northern region of Kenya is also awash with guns due to its proximity to unstable neighbours such as Somalia, where al Qaeda-linked militants have been fighting to topple the government, and Ethiopia, where the armed Oromo Liberation Front has made sporadic incursions into Kenya

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Construction of Isiolo-Moyale road halted following violence-Standard Digital News -

A truck that was burnt last Friday by rowdy youth between Turbi and Walda in Marsabit County [PHOTO: ALI ABDI/STANDARD]
NAIROBI, KENYA: The Chinese firm constructing the fourth phase of the Isiolo-Moyale road has suspended work due to inter-clan violence in Marsabit County.
In a statement yesterday, China Wu Yi said it suspended work on Sunday afternoon after rivals engaged in the Marsabit conflict attacked its workers and vehicles.
The contractor cited the violence at Turbi in North Horr and Walda and Makutano in Moyale.
“The construction of Turbi-Moyale (A2) road was stopped due to local violence,” said the statement signed by Yi Bao.
 Noting the project had been affected by insecurity, the official said the locals from Turbi area hijacked its vehicle and two others on the Marsabit-Turbi Road on Sunday.
A truck was also set ablaze by armed men at Turbi trading centre. Security personnel from Turbi rescued passengers aboard the truck.
Between last Thursday and Saturday, the contractor said rival sides used heavy weaponry near the project area.
“It was observed that even grenades and mortars were used in the gunfight (between the rival sides),” the statement said.
 Last Friday, Yi said two trucks not belonging to the firm were looted and burnt by locals at Walda and Makutano that also affected their work.
At Turbi, Walda and Makutano, he said, the rivals fought with police last Saturday.
The firm said work would only resume if the National Government assures them that their staff were safe and work will not be interrupted in anyway.
Saku MP Ali Rasso condemned the attacks on passengers and vehicles and called on both the county and national governments to protect the locals and contractor’s staff.
Meanwhile, hundreds of passengers have been stranded in both Moyale and Marsabit towns following the week-long violence at Turbi and Makutano.And the Government has ordered residents along Marsabit- Moyale road to open up the highway.
Marsabit County Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru called on residents to clear the road, failure to which the Government will use full force.
He warned residents found attacking vehicles will be arrested and prosecuted.
Mr Nakoru noted that the major blockage was at Turbi and Walda trading centres where vehicles were stoned and burnt.

Armed militia attack Moyale, cut off link to Ethiopia or Kenya -Standard Digital News

MOYALE, KENYA: Armed militia Wednesday morning attacked three cars among them a lorry less than 10 kilometres from Moyale town and cut off Kenya from Ethiopia as the Gabra- Borana conflict intensifies. Wednesday marked the eighth day in which the battle, which has also has cut off the border town from the rest of the country, has seen road transport come to a standstill. The dawn attack saw at least three people seriously injured and have been admitted to Moyale district hospital. Gun shots could be heard from Moyale town from 7.30 am till 9am. “The militias have thrown at least three grenades this morning. They are well armed and we cannot just go after them blindly. They are sparing no one, not even the police,” a security officer based at the Moyale police station told the Standard as he prepared for the counter attack. But by 10am, police were yet to respond. There are currently parts of the road between Moyale and Marsabit where a Gabra cannot pass and others where a Borana will be killed. This morning, the handful of vehicles that attempted to leave the town unsuccessfully were not carrying people from the ‘hostile’ communities depending on the destination of the vehicles. “The militias seem keen to stop movement on the road. It is only recently that we have seen them turn on the motorists, cutting off sections of the road. Mostly the fights were in the wilderness,” the officer said. It is also feared that the militia may be targeting to take hostage of some manyattas. Locals say the militias are increasingly getting emboldened due to the slow response of police. This has been seen them hit close to town. The Gabra- Borana conflict has seen more than 800 households displaced, several houses torched over the past six months.  The Standard has learnt that all the five communities have their own militia to protect them from ‘external aggression’ in what is making reconciliation initiatives fail to take off. “We have plans to take opinion leaders and village elders of the warring communities to a neutral place like Isiolo to allow them to talk to one another and call truce,” Mr John Kipsiwa, the Assistant County Commissioner said in an interview.Most area politicians have fled Moyale as the conflict comes closer to the town.  But it is the renewed conflict that over the past one week that has left security officers overwhelmed. About ten buses have been grounded with hundreds of passengers stranded at the border town. Moyale borders Ethiopia town and it is a major gateway into Marsabit County and the rest of the North eastern region. Locals blame politics and a land dispute as the causes of conflict that has also seen several cars burnt. This comes at a time when parts of Turkana County have been under attack in a new trend where militia cut off roads, locking out supplies and traders from moving into and out of particular places.
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