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5 January 2012
Tribal clashes in Moyale have blocked the reopening of 17 schools, leaving more than 3,000 children at home.
Two secondary and 15 primary schools remain closed due to the violence which has in the past two weeks claimed 12 lives.
The affected schools are in Butiye, Odha, Hellu, Sessi, Somare and Mansile where residents fled for fear of attacks.
St Mary and Township primary schools within Moyale town also remain closed since parents can not release their children for learning.
Fighting over water
The violence, which was sparked by hostilities between members of Borana and Gabra communities, was as a result of a spill-over of tribal clashes in southern Ethiopia, according to district officer Michael Mutua.
The relatives of the two communities are said to be fighting over water and pasture in Ethiopia and their hostility has spilt into Kenya.
Mr Mutua said that there were claims of 2012 politics fuelling the clashes.
Leaders from the two communities are said to be eyeing the Marsabit County governor's seat.
Since the conflict began in late November, more than 20 people have been killed in retaliatory attacks.
At Moyale Boys and Girls secondary schools, there was no learning as students are yet to report for first term.
The two schools are in Butiye and Hellu, respectively.
According to an official at the Moyale district education office, who declined to be named since he is not authorised to speak to the press, only schools in Dabelli, Borr and Godoma have reopened as they are far from trouble spots.
However, food and stationery supplies to the schools have been cut off by fighting which has disrupted transport.
"Not even government offices have been opened since yesterday. Schools' opening for first term has been paralysed by the war," said the official.
Businesses such as hotels, shops and commercial banks have also remained shut since fighting began on Wednesday.
Fear of looting
Moyale businessman Ali Noor said businesses could not open for fear of looting by rowdy mobs fighting in town.
"The streets are deserted," he said.
No vehicle has left Moyale town since then, and transport remains paralysed.
Moyale head of police Nehemiah Lagat told the Nation that security officers had been deployed to contain the fighting which has spread to other areas such as Butiye and Mansile.
He said that a security committee had been formed to deliberate on the situation which was slowly getting out of hand.