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Over 60 killed, 75,000 displaced N. Kenya clashes

24 June 2014, 09:19

Nairobi - At least 60 people have been killed and 75,000 others displaced in the inter-communal violence in northern Kenya's Wajir and Mandera counties since May, the UN said on Monday.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Eastern Africa Office said the violence between the feuding Degodia and Garre clans in the two counties has indirectly affected an additional 60,000 people in Wajir County, where 50 houses were also burnt.

It said the county governments of Wajir and Mandera are working with Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) and other humanitarian partners to deliver assistance to those displaced and affected by the clashes.

Both Garre and Degodia have communal presence and have sophisticated armed militia in Ethiopia who has been used in clan fighting in the horn of Africa country.

The nation faces challenges related to resurgence of militias and the internal risks to stability posed by Kenya's external war on the Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

The death toll came after some 20 people were killed and 13 others seriously injured in renewed inter ethnic clashes in Wajir county, in the restive northern Kenya on Sunday.

The two warring clans of Degodia and Garre have over the years been fighting for supremacy and control of the county, something that has degenerated into clashes.

The clashes led to the government deploying a contingent of security personnel to quell the clashes in July last year. The locals were also asked to surrender the firearms they had in their possession through the disarmament program.

Tension and conflict between the two communities have historically resulted from competition for natural resources, but recently the emerging tensions are attributed to political disagreements over governance issues under the new devolution structures.

The area has been unstable since last year's general elections in which the Garre community received most of the elective seats.

On Sunday, the residents said the Garres' are reportedly furious about moving Kulani polling station from Mandera West constituency to Tarbaj constituency 10 kilometers interior Wajir county.

Degodias on the other hand maintain that Gunani is their birth place and they will not secede an inch to any group or county.

- Xinhua

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