Thousands displaced in tribal violence in northern Kenya: aid agencies

NAIROBI, Jul 14, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX)

  • Thousands of people have been displaced following two brutal clan attacks in northern Kenya where at least 75 people have died, relief agencies said here Thursday.

"About 6,000 people have been displaced as a result of the attacks in the Marsabit district. We have dispatched food and other relief items to the area and we fear the number could rise as tension is still high in the area," Anthony Mwangi, spokesman of the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) told Xinhua by telephone.

Early Tuesday armed raiders said to be from the Borana clan attacked their rival Gabra clan in Galgallo and Turbi villages in Marsabit district which left 56 people dead. Later nine Boranas were killed in a revenge attack by the Gabra clan. Police have so far killed 10 raiders while pursuing others.

Mwangi said more terrified civilians are fleeing the area, fearing further unrest.

"There is still movement in the area as terrified civilians fear revenge attacks because the situation is still unstable. Various parties have been meeting to chart the way forward and we expect to send more relief items to take care of those fleeing," Mwangi said.

He said the agency had delivered an initial consignment of 50 tons of maize meal, beans and cooking oil to help those affected by the attack.

They had also taken medical supplies, including surgical kits and antibiotics, to treat some of the survivors.

Mwangi said the seriously injured were airlifted to a hospital in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and the agency was making arrangements to fly other casualties to the capital.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( OCHA) has estimated that 1,000 families affected by the attacks needed emergency assistance.

In a statement, OCHA said it has also been coordinating with the KRCS to respond to the immediate need for medical assistance in this town.

"Priority needs are for health, temporary shelter and food. The Kenyan ministry of health has appealed for medical oxygen/oxygen cylinders, sutures and dressing materials, blood transfusion equipment and assistance for medical evacuation of critical patients," said OCHA.

Cross-border raids for livestock are common in the area but Tuesday's bloody attack is one of the most deadly such attacks in the east African nation's history.

Over 100 Kenyans have been killed in inter-clan clashes between different ethnic communities over lack of natural resources in the recent past.