A bit of Normalcy in Moyale amidst Suspicions

News and Press Release
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The situation in Moyale is slowly getting back to normal, contrary to what it was when a team from Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), led by the Secretary General Abbas Gullet, visited the town and its environs on Saturday 28th January 2012. However, suspicion between the Gabra and the Borana communities, who had been engaged in a fierce fight for a week-long is still very evident.

Destructed homes are still deserted, displaced people still camping in the open, schools yet to be opened since January 2012, and general mistrust prevails, as expressed through testimonials from both sides. Generally, the two communities have over the years fought over scarce resources, especially water, pasture and land. Currently, the two communities are reportedly fighting over county positions and new boundaries in line with the New Constitution.

According to the KRCS first assessment and interviews with both sides, 48 people have been confirmed dead (34 Gabra and 14 Borana), at least 57,316 people displaced in seven locations, some 1,251 people reported as missing. Other damages include 580 houses having been burnt down, 1,075 livestock looted, four classrooms in Funan Primary School burnt down and books destroyed. Health has also been affected with the Arosa Dispensary being burnt down and drugs at the Hellu and Mansille Dispensary looted. Burning of relief food and food of farms was also reported.

The conflict has further led to insecurity in the area, food shortage and high food prices, vandalism and destruction of water tanks, green houses and boreholes, among other affects.

Meanwhile, a KRCS team in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross has been responding to this humanitarian situation from the onset of the conflict. The interventions so far include distribution of non-food items and shelter materials to some 2000 families, setting up of health medical outreaches and provision of drugs that will benefit some 10,000 people for one month.

The Society also assisted in collecting bodies of the dead and handing them over to their families for burial and airlifting of some critical cases from both communities to Nairobi for specialised treatment. Over and above, the KRCS team, led by Gullet, held peace talks with elders from both communities and since Saturday 28th January 2012, they agreed to stop fighting on condition that lasting peace is found. So far, KRCS had another meeting with them on Wednesday 1st February 2012 and they still agreed to maintain peace.

Generally, the humanitarian situation is dire and the following need to be put in place: Food for the affected families, shelter and rebuilding of houses, provision of safe and clean water, provision of more health services, re-opening of schools and peace building.