Border security beefed up after Ethiopian solders kill Kenyan police officers

By: DAVID MUCHUI

Kenya Army soldiers and police officers have been deployed along the Kenya-Ethiopia border in Sololo, Marsabit County following the killing of three police officers by Ethiopian soldiers last Friday.

The Ethiopian soldiers entered Kenyan territory and shot dead three police officers, destroyed a police vehicle and made away with four firearms in Anona, Marsabit County.

Speaking to the Nation by phone, Marsabit County Commissioner Moffat Kangi said the army, General Service Unit and Rapid Deployment Unit officers were securing Ramole and Anona along the Kenya-Ethiopia border.

The bodies of the three police officers were flown to Nairobi from Moyale on Saturday morning.

The Ethiopian troops are said to have been pursuing members of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) accused of killing an Ethiopian chief, when they attacked the Kenya police officers.

However, the county commissioner said they were yet to establish why the Ethiopian soldiers crossed into Kenya yet there are laid down protocols for addressing cross-border security issues.

Mr Kangi said a cross-border security meeting will soon be held where Kenya will put Ethiopia to task over the incursion.

SITUATION CALM

“The situation is calm now because the army and police are holding ground along the border. We want to ensure no militia crosses into the country and that our people are safe.

“All cross-border issues are supposed to be addressed at diplomatic level, hence we will be seeking an explanation from Ethiopia on why this happened.

“We want to know why they engaged our police yet we have never intruded into their territory,” Mr Kangi said.

He said that Kenya has not received any complaint from Ethiopia relating to security issues hence the invasion was unwarranted.

Ethiopian soldiers and OLF fighters had been involved in clashes before the latter escaped and crossed into Kenya.

Acting county police commander Mark Wanjala on Friday said the police officers were ambushed while on patrol.

“I can confirm the soldiers have killed one of their own chiefs (at) the border on Thursday. Three police officers were also killed today (Friday),” Mr Wanjala said.

FIERCE GUN BATTLE

Police on Friday engaged the fighters in a fierce gun battle.

Sololo AP Commander Ali Boru, who spoke to the Nation at about 4pm, Friday said police were in the bush engaging the infiltrators.

An Ethiopian chief identified as Guyo Harake is said to have been shot dead on Thursday at the border as soldiers engaged OLF fighters approximately eight kilometres from the Sololo Police Station.

According to residents, the soldiers engaged the rebels in a gun battle in Anona at around 5pm on Thursday.

Ethiopian soldiers have crossed into Kenya in Moyale and Sololo five times between March and November 2015.

Kenya police reservists lost two government-issued rifles and ammunition to the foreign soldiers.

The Kenyan government has already protested to Ethiopia over the invasions, which former county commissioner Peter Thuku said were unwarranted.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION