Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who appeared at a ceremony in Jinka, a town in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, on January 25 to celebrate the 13 Pastoralists Day announced his government’s plan to embark on a mega irrigation plan using the Omo river’s water.
Dozens were feared dead on Tuesday following an attack in Turkana by suspected Merille bandits from Ethiopia.
Although relief agencies put the number of those killed at 18, police said late yesterday that just five deaths had been confirmed.
Parliament was told by a local MP that 35 people had been killed, while other unofficial sources put the number of those dead as high as 40.
The victims were killed while taking a rest after a night-long fishing expedition at the source of Lake Turkana. The area of attack is about 170 kilometres from Lodwar town.
The government has protested to Ethiopia on the Turkana killings.
At the same time, fresh information suggests five more people may have been killed by Merille bandits two days after 20 others were shot dead.
Turkana North district commissioner Jack Opuo could neither confirm nor deny the killings at Todonyang on the Kenya-Ethiopia border, saying security personnel had been dispatched to investigate the incident.
“Security personnel have been sent to verify the alleged killings,” said Mr Opuo on phone.
But residents fleeing the insecurity-hit area said among the dead were Mr Edapal Lokoyo, his two daughters, a Mr Nakonyi and another person.
“The victims were escaping from the trouble-hit area when they were shot dead,” said Ms Jacinta Ekai by telephone. She termed the killing an act of provocation.
Mr Opuo said a security meeting between administrators from the two countries would be held tomorrow to quell tension following the killing of 20 Kenyans.
A contingent of security personnel has been deployed to Todonyang to contain rising tension following the attacks.