MOYALE, Kenya (Xinhua) – Kenyan authorities on Tuesday arrested 33 Ethiopian aliens in the border town of Moyale in the northern part of the East African nation.
Marsabit County Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru said the aliens were arrested by police officers on patrols during an operation to flush out militias following recent inter-ethnic clashes in the region.
“The suspects were on their way to Nairobi via Marsabit when the police officers on patrol intercepted them in the border areas, ” Nakoru said on Tuesday.
He said the aliens in their early 20s and 30s were intercepted in Arosa area with no valid documents to cross over to the Kenyan side.
Nakoru said the security agents have increased surveillance along the Ethiopia-Kenya border following recent clashes that saw several people killed and dozens of others injured.
Nakoru warned the brokers aiding the aliens to cross over to the country that their days a numbered. He said senior businessmen were behind the cartels where they aid aliens and criminals to sneak into the country.
“We have deployed police and Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) in Moyale who still continue to patrol the areas until we eliminate militias and other crimes in the area,” said Nakoru.
The commissioner said more than 100 aliens cross through the vast region in a week through Nairobi to South Africa in search of employment and other opportunities.
The government is worried over the mass exodus of the aliens from Ethiopia into the country to connect to South Africa where they are promised greener pasture for employment.
“I am warning the brokers that there days are number because we shall not sit back and watch selfish people engage in unlawful business to enrich themselves,” said Nakoru
He directed security committees to strengthen their intelligence in order to curb human smuggling and any other unlawful business in the area.
On December 10, the police in Nairobi arrested over 70 Ethiopians during the security operation conducted in Nairobi’s residential estates.
The 71 men and women told police they were headed for South Africa in search of employment. Divisional police commander, Barasa Wabomba said they also arrested a man who was hosting the aliens.
Police said they arrested 58 of them earlier on December 9 and 13 on the day before. The suspects were in a house when police stormed and it has been difficult for police to handle them because they neither speak English nor Swahili. It is not the first time that such suspects on transit are arrested.
Tens of Ethiopians are annually arrested in Kenya while on transit. It is not clear how they manage to navigate through various police roadblocks.