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Chief Deplores Massacre Of Kenyan Villagers

UN Humanitarian Chief Deplores Massacre Of Kenyan Villagers By ‘Gabra Militia’

New York, Jul 13 2005 7:00PM

The United Nations Emergency Coordinator today condemned the attack on a Kenyan village by a group of heavily armed fighters that left 44 dead – nearly half of them uniformed schoolchildren – and his office convened a Rapid Onset Disaster Committee to help 1,000 families needing urgent assistance.

Some 500 assailants identified as the Gabra Militia, who then fled into southern Ethiopia, struck at the village of Turbi, in Kenya’s Masarbit district, in what the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) described as the most deadly attack this year.

“I deplore this horrific attack against civilians, the majority of whom were innocent women and children. The direct targeting of a school is particularly reprehensible,” the head of OCHA, UN Under-Secretary-General Jan Egeland, said in a statement.

OCHA said that in addition to the committee meeting, it was coordinating with the Kenyan Red Cross Society to provide medical assistance to the town.

The Kenyan Ministry of Health has appealed for medical oxygen, sutures, dressing materials, blood transfusion equipment and help evacuating seriously injured patients, OCHA said.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) would provide jerry cans, chlorine tablets, water trucking, mobile latrines, sanitation kits and emergency education supplies, it said.

In a politically marginalized area with scarce resources, rival pastoralist groups straddling the Kenyan-Ethiopian border have clashed several times this year, resulting in dozens of deaths, OCHA said.

ENDS

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