At least eight people were killed and nine others injured in separate cattle rustling incidents along Ethiopia-Kenyan border in Marsabit country, northern Kenya on Sunday, the police confirmed.
Steve Oloo, Marsabit county police commander said the armed attacks were carried out in Forole and Sabareh villages on the Kenya-Ethiopia border, noting that the attackers escaped with unknown number of livestock.
“We have sent more security officers in the area to contain the insecurity. The officers will also carry out investigations into the two attacks,” Oloo said.
In the first incident, the police commander said, the attackers stormed a watering point in Forole where herders were sleeping at around 4 a.m. on Sunday, and opened fire, killing five among them.
The attackers, suspected to have crossed over from Ethiopia, made away with an unknown number of livestock from the Forole and about 500 heads of cattle from Sabareh where they killed three other locals.
Area residents said the attackers had crossed into Ethiopia. Oloo said the security team had contacted their Ethiopian counterparts for help to reclaim the animals.
The police commander appealed members of the public to provide information that might lead to arrest of the assailants. He said they have not established the reason behind the attack.
Similar incident happened on Saturday where a man was shot and seriously injured.
Such incidents are common at the border. Authorities have been making efforts to address the menace that is being encouraged by cultural practices and drought.
Cattle rustling by nomadic tribes in the semiarid region that encompasses northern Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia is common, and the tribes in the area do not respect national borders.
A drought that has impoverished some people in the area, most of them nomads, has exacerbated tensions between the communities.