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Kenya: Clashes over water, pasture kill 40 in east Africa

MARSABIT, Kenya, June 6 (Reuters) - Clashes over livestock and grazing land have killed at least 40 people and wounded 20 more in Kenya and Ethiopia since Sunday, officials said.
Ten people were killed and five others injured when suspected Ethiopian bandits attacked a Kenyan village on Monday in a region along the Ethiopian border plagued by conflict over scarce resources.

The gunmen killed five people in a raid on a village in Kenya's northeastern Marsabit district before police arrived to repel the attackers. In a firefight that lasted the whole day, police shot dead five bandits, a local official said.

"The bandits had crossed over to Kenya and attacked a settlement at Bale-Saru," the district commissioner for the area, Mutea Iringo, told Reuters on Tuesday.

He said the raiders made off with more than 2,000 sheep and goats stolen from the same village where bandits shot and killed two people on Saturday.

Residents urged the government to secure the border.

"If the government does not beef up security along the border, more attacks and counter attacks will continue," Marsabit resident Jirma Galgalo said.

Kenya sent security forces to the border in April to try to quell a wave of raids from Ethiopian cattle rustlers.

Cattle rustling and land conflicts are common for the mainly pastoralist communities living along the porous border where fighting over pasture and water has been exacerbated by a drought.


In southern Ethiopia, three days of clashes between two rival clans over grazing land and water has killed 30 people and injured 15 others, a government official said on Tuesday.

Fighting erupted when the Janjamtu clan attacked the Boran village of Awasa in the southern region of Oromo.

"Thirty people have been killed in three days of attacks on Awasa and most of them were women and children," said local administrator Bikisu Nagassa, adding that 19 Boran were killed and 11 Janjamtu.

Bikisu said that Ethiopia had sent security personnel to the area in response to the upsurge in violence.

"The Ethiopian authority has moved hundreds of soldiers to avert the situation in the region," he said. (additional reporting by Muthigani Kiama in Marsabit and Samuel Sambat Sam in Awasa)


Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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