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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Political supremacy battle fueling tension in Marsabit County

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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Clashes between the Gabra and Borana communities in Marsabit County are politically fueled for selfish gains.

The Frontier Post has reliably learnt that politicians have been hiring local and foreign militias to cause violence with the aim of displacing certain communities in a bid to swell up votes in their strongholds.

The locals have also accused some leaders for illegally settling migrants from neighbouring Ethiopia in villages along the border and with the two communities sharing the same language with those in Ethiopia, the aliens have managed to hide in plain sight from local law enforcers.

Security officials and mediators have also argued that the thirst for political supremacy is the reason peace talks have failed.

One of the key players in the pursuit of peace in the region is the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), which has admitted that a solution is far from being found, mostly due to lack of political goodwill.

“The commission has been actively involved in trying to mediate for peace in Marsabit but some of the leaders are not ready to negotiate and find an end to the conflict,” NCIC commission Danvas Makori said.

Some of the areas where the alleged illegal settlements have been reported are Elle-Borr and Elle-Dhimtu along the Kenya-Ethiopia border.

And now the Gabra community are pointing at accusing figure at political leaders from the Borana tribe of illegally settling aliens on their land to push the locals out and establish a voting population.

On the other hand, the Borana community has accused the national government of bias in enforcement of security, claiming it has been targeting them unfairly under influence from local leaders with power in the national government.

Peace ambassadors have been trying to bring political leaders to the mediation table but a solution is nowhere in sight as some of the politicians are not willing to yield power for the greater good.

Talks between political leadership from the opposing side have ended without progress because either party did not agree to a compromise.

Recently, Marsabit Governor Mohamud Ali is said to have walked out of a peace meeting in Nanyuki on grounds that the conditions set were unfavourable to his people, the Borana.

However, The Frontier Post has not established why the county boss withdrew, even though he has emerged as one of the key protagonists in the differences fanning clashes in the region.

His position makes him the top leader in the Borana community.

In the Gabra community leadership is Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning Ukur Yatani, who served as first governor of Marsabit.

The two, owing to their political influence, are vital players in the push for mediation.

However, their political competition, coupled with unresolved historical injustices, has made it near impossible to unite the two communities.

During his tenure, the Borana community accused Yatani of nepotism and favouritism in execution of development projects.

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