Kenya: scores killed in ethnic attacks

 At least 62 Kenyans have been massacred in Marsabit, northern Kenya, in a revenge attack by invaders from neighbouring Ethiopia. Six of the attackers were killed. The latest attack at Turbi, 130 km north of Marsabit town, was carried out on Tuesday morning. Church sources told CISA that members of the Borana community from Ethiopia were apparently on a revenge mission against the Gabbra, who allegedly killed six of their people (Kenyan Borana) recently. Many of the 29 injured survivors were still way out back in Turbi. Some had been brought down to Marsabit District Hospital bu Tuesday evening. Later that day, ten other people were killed at Bubisa (40 km north of Marsabit) when the pickup truck they were travelling in came under attack from local residents. The ten dead included two catechists, their wives, and other parishioners of Sololo Catholic parish. Four were children. Their driver was the Sololo parish priest Fr Aldrin Talacios MCCJ (of the Comboni Missionaries). He was the lone survivor. A white tourist whose motor cycle broke down in the area brought the bloodied pickup to the diocesan offices in Marsabit, and broke news of the second attack. Fr Aldrin was bringing them down to Marsabit for a couples' workshop. But they were killed before his eyes. Yesterday morning, Marsabit Diocese dispatched a rescue team to Bubisa. They brought back the sad news and the injured cleric, spared by the attackers. Sololo happens to be among the Borana of Kenya, hence the retaliation by the Gabbra of Bubisa whose kin had been decimated earlier in the day. The Catholic church, Muslim, other missionaries and non-governmental organizations are the only visible signs of "governance' in the semi-desert and arid north that includes Marsabit. They provide education, health, water, food relief and other services. Successive regimes, since colonial days, have done little -if any- to improve the region. "Where is the government? People are being killed! There is high tension in Marsabit," James Jirma Galgalo, the Marsabit's Diocesan Development Coordinator told CISA. He warned a catastrophe loomed over the Marsabit town and the entire region, which harbours various communities bearing grudges against one another. "People cannot simply sit and watch while their loved ones slaughtered. They need another force to tell them that what is happening is not good, and to bring reconciliation," he said. Children did not go to school on Wednesday, he said, adding that even other residents fear anything could erupt any time in Marsabit town. There is no sign of security personnel to tackle the situation and assure the population. "Only 15 policemen were dispatched yesterday to Turbi," Galagalo said. Two helicopters were cited on Tuesday evening in Marsabit, but it was not clear if there was any further action, he added. The attackers were said to have lingered on the whole day Tuesday, shooting and hacking anyone on sight. "They knew there would be neither security personnel nor reinforcements," said Galgalo. The nearest police unit is in Marsabit, 130 km away, along tracks cutting across rough terrain. Source: CISA

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