Ethiopia asked to pull militia out of Kenya
Posted Thursday, June 2 2011 at 20:47
Ethiopia was Thursday asked to pull out 2,500 militias who invaded Kenyan territory last month.
At a ministerial meeting in Addis Ababa Thursday, a high-powered Kenyan delegation took exception to the deteriorating border security and asked for better cooperation to prevent bloodshed.
The delegation composed of eight ministers and other senior officials was led by Internal Security Minister and acting Foreign minister George Saitoti.
The Defence ministers of both countries were asked to take back to Ethiopia the militiamen who killed more than 20 Kenyans.
This should be done by the military or through negotiations.
Ethiopian Defence Minister Siraj Fegessa declined to comment on the planned action, but said a security team was working on a smooth way of conducting the operation.
Kenyan Lands Minister James Orengo said both countries must give the border issue great attention.
“Failing to stop such killings on both sides is ignoring the core value of human rights,” Mr Orengo said.
The ministerial meeting’s co-chairperson, Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, said the recent border conflict was unfortunate and that his country would act to avoid insecurity along the joint border.
He also acknowledged a recent border security arrangement proposed by a joint border commission, which met in Nairobi on May 27.
The new agreement proposes more security measures, including joint border patrols, and starting development projects for local communities.
The two countries signed a border security agreement seven years ago, but the implementation was weak due to “unexplained reasons”.
At yesterday’s meeting, Kenya also sought a new water sharing “framework agreement” with Ethiopia, mainly on Omo River.
The team sought the establishment of a technical committee to study the impact of an Ethiopian dam project on Kenya.
Ethiopia plans to build the Gibe III Dam, which is expected to generate 1870 MW of power on Omo River.
It is feared that this could have a negative effect on Kenyans living around Lake Turkana.