At least six people from Urura village, Merti Sub county of Isiolo have been killed within a span of 48 hours in a fresh attack by assailants from Wajir West over a border row pitting Borana community herders from Isiolo and the Degodia community herders from Wajir County.
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Two brothers who were riding on a motor bike were shot dead on Wednesday, while four herders were ambushed while sleeping in a Manyatta on Thursday night and shot on their heads, bringing the number of fatalities to six within a span of two days.
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According to Dabaso Halkano, an elder in the affected village, the killings are as a result of a border row pitting herders from the two Counties, with those from Wajir West seeking to extend the boundary forcefully and evict their Isiolo neighbors from the area where they water their livestock. He said that the conflict has been brewing for a long time, adding that over 50 lives have been lost along the Isiolo-Wajir border within the last two years.
Dabaso urged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to address the matter urgently by demarcating a clear boundary in order to put the matter to rest.
Dabaso called upon the government to move with speed and arrest the situation to restore calm in the area, as well as support the affected community members with food items as many people have now fled the conflict prone area.
Isiolo County Governor Mohamed Kuti who visited Urura yesterday to access the situation condemned the attacks, adding that herders from Isiolo have been on the receiving end of atrocities committed by their neighbors, with no attacks or deaths happening across the border in Wajir County.
Governor Kuti further noted that Isiolo County was under attack from almost all corners, with similar conflicts being witnessed along the Isiolo Garissa border and also Isiolo-Samburu border. He said that both the Wajir-Isiolo and Garissa-Isiolo boundaries are provincial and have been clearly in place since independence, raising queries why the senseless killings are happening at this time.
He called upon the State Department of Interior led by CS Fred Matiang’i to move with speed and beef up security in the affected area so that lives are not lost unnecessarily. Kuti said that there was need to establish a police station in the area so that there can be quick response in case similar attacks happen again.
A similar conflict along the Isiolo-Garissa border has led to closure of four schools in Garbatula Subcounty