Residents of Mandera seem to be in a dilemma following the accusations by the government that they are not doing enough to counter the Al-Shabaab extremist that has caused mayhem in the Northeastern hemisphere.
And now, the government that is supposed to provide security for them is blaming them for either being accomplices or failing to provide information to the security apparatus about the extremists.
On Friday, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho through his twitter handle told the residents that they must reject that the war on terrorism is the government’s duty.
“The people and leaders of Mandera County and the larger North Eastern Region must shoulder individual and collective responsibilities and cooperate with our security teams to stamp out Al-Shabaab,” said Kibicho.
Tension has remained high in Mandera over the presence of Al-Shabaab militants with area leaders led by Governor Ali Roba accusing the security forces of inaction.
Governor Roba has decried that schools have been closed due to attacks by the militants.
Governor said brilliant students at the county face the prospect of dropping out of schools because of the Al Shabaab menace.
The governor added that the national government has failed to protect the residents against the insurgents.
“While other Kenyans resumed learning after the Covid-19 break last week, in Mandera County we are faced with a crisis in the education sector. Learning is paralysed throughout the county because of Al-Shabaab terror menace”, he said.
The governor faulted the national government for failing to protect its citizens, adding that the constant attacks by the militant might plunge the Northeastern region into a crisis.
“We risk having a generation of people who never acquired education. This is simply not acceptable”, he said.
But now the leaders are now reminding the government not to abdicate its duty of providing security to its citizens including Mandera residents.
Former Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow claimed that the security apparatus has failed to act even after locals provided information.
“It’s the responsibility of the government to provide security especially fighting terrorism. Folks in the region provide info to security forces but there is no action. When terrorists move 200km inside the County, the government cannot feign ignorance. It’s a failure of the system,” said Kerrow.
Taib Ali Taib argued that while Mandera is being besieged by the militants, Kenyan Somalis find themselves wedged in a merciless pincer.
“On the one hand, they suffer the attacks of Al-Shabaab, while on the other they are crushed by the racist, unlawful wholesale discrimination and condemnation of their fellow Kenyans,” said Taib.
Some locals are now suggesting that the solution to the problem of insecurity in the North including stopping Al-Shabaab is to localize the security agents.
“Frankly speaking, locals don’t trust when they have to use interpreters when communicating with officers. Plus withdraw KDF they are the poison in the region instead of using BPU,” said Simba Guleid in his twitter account.