Monday August 25, 2014
MANDERA — At least one person was confirmed dead and scores of inured in renewed inter-communal clashes pitting two feuding clans in Mandera, northern Kenya, officials said on Sunday.
Mandera County Red Cross Coordinator Ahmed Ibrahim said the fighting pitting two Somali sub-clans of Garre and Degodia reignited at around 6 a.m. and was still ongoing after unknown gunmen attacked Rhamu town and started shooting people.
“There is heavy exchange of fire as we speak now.
“The situation is very tense.
“It started when armed men attacked Rhamu town and injured three people,” Ibrahim told Xinhua via telephone.
Tension and conflict between the two communities have historically resulted from competition for natural resources, but recently the emerging tensions are attributed to political disagreements over governance issues under the new devolution structures.
The two warring clans of Degodia and Garre have over the years been fighting for supremacy and control of the county something that has degenerated into clashes.
Mandera County Senator Billow Kerrow who also confirmed the clashes called on security agencies to help end fresh round of hostilities.
“I want to take this early opportunity to condemn in the strongest terms possible the heavy fighting going on since early morning in Rhamu.
“Two nights ago, armed men attacked the town and injured three people.
“Last night, they attacked a truck entering the town and killed one person, injuring three others,” Kerrow said.
He said the fresh fighting continued for the better part of Sunday leaving several wounded and others displaced.
“This morning, they started a heavy artillery attack from three sides on the town from 6.00 a.m., and is still going on,” the senator added.
He called on the government to step up efforts to restore peace between the two rival clans.
“I urge the government to take immediate actions to end the fighting that has caused many casualties this morning,” he said.
The areas bordering Somalia, where Mandera town is located, is particularly prone to bouts of sporadic clan and terrorist-led attacks, which have undermined economic progress and investment in the area.