Calm returns in Isiolo after 3 days of clashes between two communities
Leaders and elders in Isiolo County on Sunday held peace meetings to restore calm in the area that has witnessed three days of clashes between the Meru and Borana communities.
The clashes erupted on Thursday following the lynching of a youth, allegedly for theft, leaving several people injured in the retaliatory attacks with 3 suspects arrested by police.
The remains of a motorcycle which was set ablaze by a group of youth at Kiwanjani on Thursday night and a lorry towed to Isiolo Police Station are an illustration of the extent of destruction caused by clashes between the two communities in the area.
The murder of the boda boda operator sparked anger from a group of boda boda operators from one community who unleashed terror on the other, claiming it was behind the killing.
“Sisi sote ni mandugu, na wahalifu ni wahalifu…tusishikanishe wahalifu na jamii…wahalifu wanaweza toka jamii yoyote, kitendo ambayo kimetendeka tunakemea,” said Sheikh Ahmed, Chairman of the Isiolo Interfaith Network.
County Commissioner Herman Shambi said; “Nataka kuwahakikishia kwamba sisi kama watu wa usalama wa hapa, tutafanya kila jitihada kuhakikisha kwamba usalama unadumu, lakini tungetaka cooperation ya kila mtu.”
On Saturday evening, several people were injured following an attack on a bus on the Nairobi-Isiolo highway that was part of the conflict between the Meru and Borana communities in the town.
The bus which was heading to Isiolo from Nairobi was ambushed near Maili Saba in Isiolo in a retaliatory attack after a lorry was ambushed on Friday.
“Mambo ya kufunga barabara, kupiga gari mawe, kupora…ni mambo ambayo yatatuletea shida zaidi, haiwezi kusuluhisha, kwa hivo naomba viongozi wetu tushikane kwa mikono kwa sababu wale wahalifu wakitenda kitendo, jamii yote haikuwa nao,” added Sheikh Ahmed.
Following the clashes, area leaders convened a crisis meeting with elders and religious leaders in Isiolo town to restore calm.
“Tunahimiza uwepo wa amani na utulivu…mtu yeyote katika jirani yako ambaye anafanya uchochezi, tafadhali piga ripoti,” stated Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti.
Calm is slowly returning in Isiolo, with heavy police presence and routine patrols in the town that remained deserted for the better part of the weekend.