February 7, 2012

20000 Kenyans flee conflict into Ethiopia-UN

Filed under: Ethiopia,Kenya — ethiopiantimes @ 5:39 pm
Tags: , ,
A boy stands next to a tree in Barmil in this recently taken handout photo released on July 21, 2011. REUTERS/Jakob Dall/Danish Red Cross/Handout

NAIROBI (AlertNet) – Some 20,000 Kenyans have been displaced into Ethiopia following inter-ethnic fighting, the United Nations (U.N.) reported on Tuesday.

Dozens have died in recent months in clashes between the Gabra and Borana communities in Moyale, in northern Kenya, over political positions and new administrative boundaries.

“Humanitarian organizations are using a working figure of 20,000 people who may have been displaced into Ethiopia from Kenya,” the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Ethiopia office said in a February 7 bulletin, following an assessment mission to the area.

“Food for up to 15,000 people (rice and dates for 15 days) and non-food items (plastic sheets and household goods for 3,000 people) have been dispatched.”

It said most people were staying with the host community or in schools.

Pastoralist communities have a history of fighting over such resources as cattle and pasture. But the current violence is driven by the desire for political power.

On the Kenyan side of the border, the Kenya Red Cross is trucking water to the displaced and providing medical care.

“Health facilities were burnt down as a result of the conflict and medicine looted,” it said in a statement.

A former MP was arrested for inciting the violence last month.


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