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Garissa and Tana River Elders Meet Over Border Row

Elders from Garissa and their counterparts from Tana River  met again at the residence of Sultan Sambul Dekhow of Abduwak clan in Garissa town to try and defuse the growing tension and come up with lasting solutions to the disputed three miles border stretch along the common border.

Tana River delegation   were led by Babisani Wayu (Wailwana) and Abubakar Salat (Munyo Yaya).

Also present were elders from the Pokomo, Wardei, Wata and the Orma communities. Sultan Dekhow led his elders in the meeting that lasted for close to four hours.

There has been growing tension between the two communities with leaders from the two counties accusing each other of being the aggressors.

On November 11, Garissa County Governor, Ali  Korane, during a development tour in Bura East town, Fafi Sub-county, accused his counterpart in Tana River, Governor Dhadho Godhana, of invading his territory and inciting communities by proposing development project on the ‘Garissa side’.

But in a quick rejoinder, Godhana accused Korane, Garissa Deputy Governor Abdi Dagane and Fafi MP Abdikadir Osman, for fueling conflicts through reckless utterances.

The Tana River Governor through his lawyer, Tom Ojienda, threatened to sue the three accusing them for stoking ethnic violence.

The closed door meeting in which the media were barred agreed to hold another meeting at a later date that will be announced soon.

The elders expressed fears the utterances by the top leadership from both counties could lead to full conflict if not managed.

According to source privy to the meeting who spoke on conditions of anonymity said that the second meeting may be attended by the top leadership from the two counties.

“For now we agreed that as we go back to our respective communities and engage our leaders as well as residents to stop inflammatory statements that will heighten the tension,” he said.

The two parties agreed to sensitize their respective communities to maintain sobriety and avoid any acts that can prejudice the peace and stability in the area.

Similarly the two parties resolved to advice the leadership to embrace dialogue.


By Jacob Songok

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