Four fishermen feared dead in Turkana
02 August 2013, 17:21
Turkana - At least four fishermen are feared dead in Lake Turkana, after suspected Merille militia from neighboring Ethiopia abducted them, according to police reports.
Divisional police commander Bernard Nyakwaka confirmed the incident on Friday, saying the fishermen were found fishing near Kanamkuny beach in Todonyang border point when the Militia pounced on them.
Nyakwaka said the fishermen were waylaid in the middle of the Lake Turkana while they were carrying out their fishing activities on Thursday afternoon when the militia abducted them.
"We have tried to trace their bodies along the lake but to no avail. We suspect the fishermen are either dead or still alive but in the custody of the militia," Nyakwaka said.
The police commander said a contingent of security personnel have been dispatched to the area to conduct a search of the missing fishermen.
"It's unfortunate that the missing fishermen are all young men who had gone to fish in Lake Turkana.We have sent a rescue security team to conduct a search to trace there whereabouts," Nyakwaka said.
The police chief said they suspect the Merille militia used a motor boat to abduct the fishermen. He added that they escaped with the fishermen's boat and their fishing gears towards the Ethiopian side.
The incident occurred barely a week after the militia attacked some fishermen at Illeret area and took off with their fishing gears.
Nyakwaka said they have contacted the Ethiopian authorities to help trace the victims and try to recover the stolen fishing gears from the militia.
For the last two years residents of Todonyang along the Kenya- Ethiopia border have fled the region to a safer place following Merille militia threats in the region.
Former local political leader Osman Eleman said the militias have taken control of Lake Turkana where they carry out their fishing activities along Lake Turkana.
He said insecurity has persisted in the region following militia action to take control of resources along Lake Turkana coupled with boundary disputes.
"We have really suffered for a very long time after the militiamen took control of Lake Turkana at the border point. They militia group kill fishermen and steal their fishing gears living them impoverished," Eleman said.
He raised fear that the militia will kill several Turkana this August season for their rituals purpose.
"We appeal to the government to protect our fishermen. This is the worst season with Turkana fishermen because the militia normally conduct their rituals in August and they ensure that they kill a Turkana local and remove their organs for their ritual purposes," Eleman said.
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