By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
August 7, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia and Kenyan officials have agreed to improve border security and curb tribal clashes along their common boundaries.
The Kenyan delegation from the Turkana region visited Ethiopia this week to hold talks with their Ethiopian counterparts in Omorate, South Omo.
- A Turkana woman, Kenya, March 2010 (Reuters)
The agreement comes amidst tribal clashes between Borona and Garri communities that broke out in late July in a remote part of Ethiopia near the Kenyan border, leading to the death of at least 12 people and the displacement of over 20,000 into Kenya.
Accordingly the two sides have agreed to work on reducing border tension and to harmonize the Turkana and Merille communities of the two countries who frequently engage in deadly clashes.
“We want to make sure the warring communities co-exist peacefully. Our mandate as governments is to assure residents of both sides live harmoniously by providing security,” said the head of the Kenyan delegation, Albert Mwilitsa.
The two sides have also established a joint security body which will inspect the border and prevents the recurrence of ethnic clashes.
The two governments will also open a joint pastoralist school along the border where children from Turkana and Merille community will learn together and therefore develop improved relations from an early age.
In either side of the shared borders the two countries have beefed up security to ensure peace and curb tribal fighting.
Resource competition mainly on land grazing and water along the poorly demarcated border line are major reasons for armed fighting between the two communities.
In May the two East African neighbours agreed to demarcate a new international boundary to avoid border dispute and also to maintain peace and security along the common border.