Tension lingers in Marsabit Town over Sheikh Guyo Gorsa's arrest

A group of youth protests against the arrest of a sheikh in Marsabit Town on January 13, 2018. PHOTO | IRENE MWENDWA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • On Saturday, a group of youth protested against the arrest of a sheikh.
  • They caused chaos in Marsabit Town, destroyed and set ablaze property and looted shops.
  • On Sunday, tension built up at the burial of three people killed during the Saturday riots, and the youth wanted to protest again. Police were on high alert.

Tension has been building up in Marsabit Town since Sunday morning after youths protesting against the arrest of a local sheikh destroyed property on Saturday.

Speaking to the youth gathered in town on Sunday morning ready to protest again over the killing of three people on Saturday, Saku MP Ali Rasso said nobody can pay for all the property that was destroyed during demos on Saturday.


Mr Rasso told youths that the arrest was made by the Anti-Terrorism Police and his family already knew his whereabouts so they could go see him.

"We are not a town breeding criminals and terrorists. We should resist criminal acts and maintain peace so our town can thrive," said Mr Rasso.

Saku MP Ali Rasso (left) and Borana elders talk to youth in Marsabit Town on January 14, 2018. They urged the youth to maintain peace and to shelve plans to protest. PHOTO | IRENE MWENDWA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The legislator noted that businesses should open up and asked locals to allow for normal business to resume.

He said that out of fear, the central business district has remained deserted since the Saturday riots.

"We should allow everyone to run their business because we cannot live by our own and survive. We urge businesspeople to open their shops," said Mr Rasso.

Elders also cautioned locals against violence and destruction of property.

Earlier, the legislator was heckled as he tried to talk to youth during the burial of the three people who were killed during the Saturday protests.

Property set on fire as a group of youth protests against the arrest of a sheikh in Marsabit Town on January 13, 2018. PHOTO | IRENE MWENDWA | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The youth were determined to proceed with demonstrations but the police have been on high alert.

More tires were burnt along several feeder roads and along the Moyale-Marsabit road.

Churches were guarded by police officers as they seemed to be the main targets.

The Nation visited the Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church that were guarded by at least three armed officers each.

But majority of Christians did not attend church on Sunday for fear of attack, following destruction of property in the Catholic Church on Saturday.