Thursday, September 18, 2008


Fifteen people have been killed in fighting between Garre(Gharri) and Murule clans in Mandera, as Internal Security Minister George Saitoti claimed foreign militia had participated in the killings. On Monday, Saitoti met several MPs and Cabinet minister Muhammad Elmi from North Eastern Province to discuss the matter.

"The number of people killed is fifteen. In such conflicts among pastoralists, communities tend to seek the support of their people across the border. This happened in this conflict," said Saitoti. He added police and military had been deployed to stem the violence. "A state of normalcy and stability must be restored. Nothing can be addressed in a state of tension," said the minister who added the Government would respond forcefully if the clans failed to observe a ceasefire.

Although the leaders formed a 12-member committee (six from either clan) and three arbitrators to mediate the conflict over land, water and territory that has simmered since last year’s district boundary changes, The clashes keep recurring and it would have been better sorted out once and for all. The issues in contention have been going on for sometime and need to be resolved as quickly as possible.

Deputy Speaker and Lagdera MP Farah Maalim who was present together with Minister for Northern Kenya, Elmi Ibrahim said NEP MPs had turned the page on a culture of warlordism that ended in 1980's and asked local clans to co-exist. NEP residents have no time for this kind of clashes, he said.

Hate speeches like the picture above only tend to increase hostility and owners of Garre Online website need to know that if what they are are saying is true, that there is a Gharri militia group by the name of Garre defence forces, operating like Sabaot Militias of Mt.Elgon, It must be accountable to the Government of Kenya so that they stop killing people in Mandera.The website administrators and managers must also avoid such kind of articles to be printed.

Or else, What would you expect from learned NEPIANS?

During the Colonial time, the period between 1900-1963, Murulles and Garres were effectively engaged in protracted in similar clashes although british colonial administration had adversely mentioned and written in their normal HOR(Handing Over Reports) all land allocations for both the clans. If that is followed, every clan will peacefully co-exist with a neighbour clan without having to resort to clashes.

Needless to say, The simmering clashes happen along the border of Mandera Central and Mandera East constituencies where rival clans claim interference. In 1988, Mandera Central constituency was carved out from the then larger Mandera East where Murule dominate following devastating clan clashes between Murule and Garre clans in early 1980’s. This creation of a new constituency was envisaged at cooling growing tensions between the two clans over political representation.

With Mandera Central constituency formed, the issue of political representation was solved but another problem was born. There emerged growing hatred and suspicion between the two clans. Differences began to widen to an extent that the clan leadership and chiefs from both clans started to openly mobilise their clan members for the domination of the other.

And to worsen the already fragile situation, the KANU administration (especially between 1982-2002) created many administrative units (sublocations, locations and divisions) in hitherto community-grazing areas in the district, mainly for political mileage. The disputed Alango location (both clans claiming ownership of the locations, Alungu being in Mandera East but constituency wise in Mandera Central constituency is a good example of conflict arising from creation and or competition over administrative units. Chiefs and their assistants in the location and other neighbouring locations have been clamouring that their boundaries have been interfered with.

Murule and Garre clans are accusing each other of harbouring and supporting foreign militia in their locations. Watering livestock at Alango Dam has often resulted to confrontations and armed violence with unpleasant repercussions. Although the creation of additional administrative units was meant to make ‘services closer to the people’, it is important to point out that that has not been the case in Mandera and adjacent districts. These additional locations and sub locations have mainly contributed to the escalation of conflicts in the entire North Eastern province, because clans which felt they have an upper hand in the politics were "out manoeuvered" by others.

On Monday, Minister Elmi said all local MPs support the restoration of the rule of law, pending mediation. Others present were Mandera Central MP Hussein Muhammad Abdikadir and Muhamud Maalim of Mandera West and Mohammed Hussein "Qaras" of Mandera East.

Meanwhile youth and religious groups from the province have accused the Government of ignoring the violence and asked the fighting communities to cease chaos. The fighting has engendered massive deportation of civilians and disruption of school.

The last cycle of violence in the former Mandera District left over 100 dead between April 2004 and January 2005.