At least 13 people have been killed in inter-clan clashes over water in the north-eastern region of Mandera, a humanitarian official has said.
“The two clans clashed over the ownership of a borehole,” Titus Mung’ou of the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) confirmed. The clashes broke out on 7 September between the Murule and Garre clans.
“The borehole, which was destroyed in the fighting at Alongo, was an important water source for thousands of people and livestock for the two clans,” Mung’ou said. Alongo is located along the border of Mandera Central and Mandera East districts.
The total number of people injured as well as those displaced remains unclear, according to Mung’ou. “The fighters retreated with their injured while those living in the affected area are now with relatives,” he said.
A police post was also targeted and two police officers were among the dead. “This was criminal activity,” Eric Kiraithe, the police spokesman, said.
The motive of the attack was to allow the criminals to escape, Kiraithe said. A police vehicle was also badly damaged, he said.
Inter-clan clashes are common in the north-eastern region over scarce resources. “What is different is the audacity in directly assaulting the police,” said Kiraithe.
He said activities aimed at recovering illegal weapons were ongoing in the area.
Security has also been intensified although no arrests have been made, he said.
Meanwhile, the KRCS has mobilised personnel, relief and medical supplies to the area, according to Mung’ou.
There are plans for relief food distribution, which will target at least 30,000 people, he said. Water trucking is also ongoing.
“The clashes have worsened the humanitarian situation for the population, which was already depending on monthly food rations,” he said.