News Alerts

23 Oct 2018 | 09:04 PM UTC

Kenya: Tensions remain high in Marsabit following clashes /update 1

Kenya News Alert

Tensions remain high in Marsabit county following clashes as of October 23; officials close 16 schools until further notice

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/23/2018, 12:00 AM until 10/30/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Nairobi). COUNTRY/REGION Marsabit County

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Event

Tensions remain high in Marsabit county as of Tuesday, October 23, following a recent series of violent intercommunal clashes. On Wednesday, October 17, officials in Marsabit county announced that 16 schools had been indefinitely closed due to security concerns. On Sunday, October 21, two members of parliament representing constituencies in the county were detained for allegedly failing to contain the intercommunal clashes which have left at least 14 people dead as of mid-October. A heightened security presence is anticipated in the area in the near term. Further clashes cannot be ruled out.

Context

Violent clashes between members of the Gabra and Borana over land rights broke out in Marsabit county on September 5. The Gabra Scheme, where the most recent attacks have occurred, is the area allotted to the nomadic Gabra people for agricultural activity and camel grazing, although it is frequently encroached upon by predominantly cattle-grazing Borana herdsmen.

Kenya has recently experienced increasingly frequent bouts of sociopolitical and socioeconomic unrest, sectarian tensions, and intercommunal violence. The country has witnessed major demonstrations by public and private sector workers, as well as by opposition parties, in recent months. Security forces often use a heavy-handed approach in quelling protests.

Advice

Individuals in the affected area are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for signs of intercommunal unrest, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

Due to these and other security concerns, many Western governments advise against travel to a number of regions in the country, including areas bordering Somalia (e.g. parts of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Lamu counties), Ethiopia, and South Sudan.

 

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