|A truck that was burnt last Friday by rowdy youth between Turbi and Walda in Marsabit County [PHOTO: ALI ABDI/STANDARD]|
By ALI ABDI and LIBAN GOLICHA
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.
CLEAR THE ROAD
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.