Nairobi (Alshahid)-Tribal clashes in northern Kenya has left some 60 people dead and displaced more than 40,000 others in recent months in reprisal attacks linked to rivalry over pasture,cattle rustling and local politics, aid agencies and local authorities said.
The fighting between the Borana and tribes over access to water and pasture has nearly deserted Moyale, a northern town on the border with Ethiopia.
“Shops in Moyale are closed, houses, schools are empty, there is a very eerie sense like a ghost town,” Alexander Matheou, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) head for East Africa, said on Friday.
Clashes are common between rival shepherd pastoralists in the region, with herders often carrying guns to protect their animals, but the recent fighting has been unusually heavy.
“We have never seen before what we are seeing this time, entire villages, entire schools destroyed, water points sabotaged,” Matheou said.
A rapid initial assessment conducted by Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) found that fighting in January resulted in approximately 60 deaths and 57 injured and that 1,000 houses, health facilities, water points and schools have been vandalized or burned, with more than 5,000 families displaced and without access to shelter or basic services.
The region was hard hit by severe drought in the Horn of Africa last year, exacerbating tensions over land in the area, and sparking tit-for-tat cattle raids.