Ethiopia and Kenya agree to enhance security on border

Kenya haS deployed marine police to patrol Lake Turkana and counter the Merrile while Ethiopia has stationed forces check and restrain intrusionS by the Merrile

Aug 13, LODWAR (Xinhua) — Kenya and Ethiopia have stepped up joint security along its border at Turkana County to stop any further ritual killings by the Merrile warriors, officials said on Sunday.

Last week, six Kenyans were shot dead by Merrile warriors in what suspected to be ritual killing, prompting officials from the two countries to hold talks over security at the common border.

The killings bring to 14 people including three police officers at the porous border.

Fishing activities at the Lake Turkana has also been frustrated by insecurity due to tribal clashes.

Turkana North District Commissioner Albert Mwilitsa told Xinhua on phone that the two governments had agreed to security issues aimed at enhancing peace between the Turkana and Merrile communities.

“We reached a consensus on the security along the border and security forces from both sides will jointly work and ensure Merrile youths are stopping from sneaking into Kenya to kill,” said Mwilitsa.

Merrile community circumcised their youth in August, a practice which fuels insecurity and men raid their rival community to kill and promote their manhood.

During such raids, the Merrile kill and chop off some part of their victims which they latter display them to their kins back home.

“Their target is to kill and carry away some parts such as ears, nose, toe or tongue.

“By killing they prove their braveness and manhood,” said Christopher Elman, a former civic leader in Turkana County.

Mwilitsa said Kenya had deployed marine police to patrol Lake Turkana and counter the Merrile men while the Ethiopia has also stationed forces along the border to check and restrain the intrusion by the Merriles.

The administrator said during a recent security talks held at Omorate area in Jinka district, the delegations from the two countries inked a peace agreement.

The resolution which paved way for the formation of a joint security organ was also signed by elders from the two warring communities.

“As the government we are unhappy with continue hostilities between the communities.

“We want peace restored and the communities to co-exist to open room for development in the region,” Mwilitsa told Xinhua in an interview.

He said the talks also proposed the opening of border common schools to help children from both sides interact.

“The two governments accepted the need for common border schools to enhance peace among young generation and also curb high illiteracy level.

“We expect peace lesson to be taught in this schools to assists the children interact,” he said.

The official further said the enhance peace integration and promote trade between the two communities, Kenya will establish an immigration offices at Todenyang.

Some of the deliberations reached, the DC said includes the establishment of a common border market to promote barter trader and procedures on how the two communities should share livestock resources such as grazing fields and water points.