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Four injured in Wajir grenade attack despite Uhuru Kenyatta’s warning

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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Four people were Monday night seriously wounded in a grenade attack in Wajir Town.

The attack, which is linked to the ongoing inter-clan killings in the area, came even as President Uhuru Kenyatta warned the government will use force to restore peace in Wajir and Mandera Counties if the fighting continues.

A senior police officer said two of the victims were treated and discharged while two others are still in hospital.

“The attackers just threw a grenade at a crowd and escaped. No arrest has been made so far,” said the officer who asked not to be named.

On Monday, several leaders from the area were questioned by police over the fighting between Garreh and Degodia clans which has so far claimed more than 60 lives.

President Uhuru warned that the Government will use force to restore peace in Mandera and Wajir Counties if the ongoing inter-clan fighting continues.

The leaders led by Mandera West MP Mohamud Mohamed had been summoned for grilling as part of efforts to get those behind the incidents.

Details of the grilling were scanty as those who drove in at about 2.30 pm stayed there until late in the evening.

Tension continued to rise in the area as two more people are reported to have been killed in Wajir on Monday after they were hit by a vehicle in a commotion where a group of rowdy crowd started throwing stones at vehicles being used to ferry internally displaced persons to Mandera.

 Police were forced to shoot in the air to disperse the crowd. Some of the more than 20 people who were injured in attacks on Sunday were flown to Nairobi yesterday for treatment, officials said.

 At State House, Nairobi, President Uhuru said the Government will take stern action against those who continue to fuel hostilities between the Garreh and Degodia clans in Mandera and Wajir counties.

He directed the immediate surrender and mop up of illegal arms, warning that if peace is not restored, the Government will have no choice but to mount an all-out security operation that may have unintended consequences.

“If the hostilities do not end, we will have no otherwise but to move in with full force,” President Uhuru said.

Kenyatta spoke when he met political leaders from Mandera and Wajir to discuss the conflict between the Garreh and Degodia clans.

He added Kenya will engage the Ethiopian Government to ensure the peaceful co-existence of all communities along the common border.

The President also warned chiefs in Mandera and Wajir counties that they will be held responsible if they fail to take action and provide adequate and timely information that will help in containing acts of breach of peace.

He said he expects the leaders from both communities to embrace on the two clans to co-exist peacefully as Kenyans.

The fighting which has now entered the third month has spread from Mandera to Wajir County where the majority of the locals are Degodias.

Insiders said the problem pits the two main clans- Degodia and Garreh living in the Counties and neighbouring ones over political issues.

“There is a feeling the Degodia were deliberately locked out of the elective posts in the last general election. This has spread to Ethiopia where the clans also live and it is becoming a major issue,” said a senior officer in the area who added the planned deployment of the military may achieve little.

 No single leader from the Degodia clan was elected or nominated in the concluded elections in Mandera County.

It is not the first time that the inter-clan wars erupt in the area. In 2010 a similar clashes occurred leading to the death of 10 people and destruction of property.

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