Kenya/Ethiopia: Conflict between Kenya’s Turkana fishermen and Ethiopia’s Dassanech peoples causing humanitarian crisis

Retaliatory raids between Turkana fishermen in Kenya and Dassanech tribal peoples of Ethiopia is threatening the peace of communities eking a livelihood around Lake Turkana and has caused an emergency situation.

Between July and August this year, these two communities have attacked each other four times causing 14 deaths and loss of property including fishing gear like boats and nets.

According to the Turkana District Provincial Assistant Chief, Pius Chuchu Nakonyi, the raids have left the two communities vulnerable and there is urgent need for humanitarian assistance especially for women and children.

According to the BBC, the Dassanech community is among the many tribes who live in the south of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. They live where the Omo River delta enters Lake Turkana - their name means ‘People of the Delta’. Despite living around a lake and delta, their area is dry.

They are a highly adaptive community that grows crops during the rainy season, keep animals and go fishing during the dry season. During harsh weather, when many lose animals, they switch to alternative means of support by the shores of Lake Turkana.

It is at Lake Turkana that fishermen from Kenya, in the struggle for aquatic resources, faceoff with the Dassanech, who they view as encroaching on their natural assets. The clashes, which are now rampant, are often bloody and destructive.
Click the link below to see the Turkana district Provincial Chief’s report and plea for humanitarian assistance.

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Date: 16/09/2013




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