Kenya and ethnic violence in the Marsabit region

Kenya and ethnic violence in the Marsabit region

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

Kenya is blighted by ethnic violence in the county of Marsabit. Hence, with another five deaths after the latest ethnic clash, the Kenyan authorities are stepping up internal security to quell the ongoing crisis. 

Authorities say both ethnic groups are pastoralists. Thus, the struggle over the control of resources is the cause of the clashes. Therefore, the smuggling of weapons from Ethiopia is upping the ante and leading to a spiral of deaths. 

Lee Jay Walker says, “Recently, dozens of deaths have occurred in the last few months in the same region. Hence, with the Marsabit region sharing a border with Ethiopia – similar to Mandera and the Wajir regions sharing a border with Somalia – weapons from Ethiopia and cross border issues are making the situation more dangerous.” 

Regional authorities in this part of Kenya have declared a 30-day curfew. At the same time, the number of police is increasing in the volatile region. Also, of great importance, local leaders from both ethnic groups are in direct talks to quell the crisis. 

Voice of America reports, “Kenya Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the security operation in Marsabit may be extended until the state can get rid of illegal weapons in the region.”

The Interior Cabinet Secretary also recently said, “We have done everything we could to bring sanity to that part of the country. There is nothing our President has not done.”

Bloodshed in this part of Kenya is all too common. Therefore, border issues with Ethiopia and Somalia continue to blight authorities in Kenya.

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