Alert as Ethiopian forces enter Kenya

Tuesday May 19 2015

Ethiopian soldiers in Barentu, Eritrea. Kenyan Police said the incident came just a week after surveyors had completed demarcating the Kenya-Ethiopia border. PHOTO | FILE |

Kenyan security agencies have been put on high alert after about 50 heavily-armed Ethiopian soldiers and police officers crossed the border and reportedly took over a police station.

Kenyan Police said the incident at Illeret Police Station in the country's North Horr constituency came just a week after surveyors had completed demarcating the Kenya-Ethiopia border.

Armed with AK47 rifles, the Ethiopians arrived in 10 vehicles. They disembarked and took strategic positions around the police station. They then inspected and took photos of the area, which is 16 kilometres from the border.

They are said to have gone to inspect the border and a lake. They, however, admitted that the Kenyan Government was not aware of their presence, but vowed they would return.

This is the third time Ethiopian forces have crossed the border into Kenya this year.

North Horr's commanding officer (OCPD) Tom Odero said the Ethiopians stormed the station a few days after Kenyan and Ethiopian surveyors concluded surveying and demarcating the border.


“Their intention is not clear,” read a brief from Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet’s office in Nairobi.

Mr Odero also called for reinforcements, saying there were not have enough officers.

“Illeret Police Station has nine officers only, but the few who are there remain on high alert, monitoring the border,” the brief read.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman, Colonel David Obonyo, said they were not aware of the incident.

“We do not have information. However, Ethiopia is one of our traditional friends and I do not think they would do anything bad,” said Col Obonyo.