UN: Inter-ethnic clashes claimed 491 lives in 2013
05 February 2014, 07:50
Nairobi - At least 491 people lost their lives, over 1,200 others injured and 47,050 displaced in inter- communal conflict in northern Kenya in 2013, a UN humanitarian agency said on Tuesday.
A statement from the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the cumulative impact of inter-communal conflict in Kenya steadily increased in 2013 with a dramatic escalation in December during the deadly clashes in Moyale, Marsabit County.
"Recent localized clashes have been attributed to competition over political representation, land and resources. The most affected areas are Moyale, in Marsabit County, Mandera County and Tana River County," OCHA said.
Analysts say the feuding pastoralist communities in Kenya's north and southeast have easy access to illegal weapons since the regions are close to porous borders with neighboring countries that are either war-torn or are emerging from conflict.
According to OCHA, the government, in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross Society and NGO partners, has responded with food and non-food humanitarian assistance, with support from international partners.
Late last year, the authorities deployed security forces and commissioned disarmament exercises in the affected areas. Conflict mitigation efforts, peace building and reconciliation initiatives, have also been initiated at the local level.