100 camels shot dead by ‘security offi cers’ in Tana River border feud

A border dispute pitting two communities in Tana River and Kitui counties on Saturday morning turned ugly after suspected security officers shot and killed more than 100 camels in two different locations.
The camels belonged to the Somali community from Tana River. Residents of Boka and Bisan Hargeisa, Tana River county, are yet to come to terms with the horrifying incident.
The longstanding border dispute between residents of Mwingi in Kitui county and those in Basin Hargeisa, Tana River, has led to the loss of lives and property destruction.
Herders said security officers in two vehicles and a lorry descended on their camels at noon and indiscriminately sprayed them with bullets. Two boys aged seven and eight, herding the camels, scampered for safety. By yesterday, they had not be traced.
On Sunday, the same team raided villages in Bisan Hargeisa, torched manyattas and killed 15 camels. Camel owner Mohamed Billow said he does not understand why security officers decided to kill his camels.
“They could have arrested or even killed me if they want, but not descend on my animals,” he said.
When journalists visited the scene on Saturday evening, the area had a foul stench. The carcasses has visible bullet wounds.  The journalists were accompanied by Bura MP Ali Wario. Journalists counted 70 camel carcasses. There were also several spent cartridges labelled KDF. Wario said security officers entrusted to keep peace are now turning against one community by maiming their source of livelihood and torching houses. “I’m at my lowest moment of my leadership. This is not what I was anticipating from a state or by extension Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery. Lives and livelihoods are not separated in pastoralism. You can’t use bullets to kill animals,” he said.
“Our expectation is security from a neutral national government. Is this the reward the government is giving us for Ramadhan? Somebody somewhere must answer for this.”
He said there are 28 counties with border disputes and wondered why Tana River and Kitui are being treated differently by the state. Wario said residents have evidence and will sue Nkaissery and IG Joseph Boinnet for the loss. The matter has been reported to Bangale police station.
“Nkaissery must pay for this. You can send your boys with guns, but we have our God and the law. We will beat you in this,” Wario said.
Wario yesterday told the Star on the phone that Boinnet called him and promised to investigate the matter. The MP asked IPOA to get to the root cause.

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