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Land demarcation, allocation and gypsum mining suspended in Garissa

The Regional Security Committee and County Government of Garissa have agreed to suspend all gypsum mining activities, land allocation and demarcation in Garissa County with immediate effect.

These were among resolutions reached after a daylong meeting that brought together the County Government of Garissa officials and the Regional and County Security Committee members at the Garissa Farmers Training Centre (FTC) following the killing of Nine people in two separate incidents in the area two days ago.

Addressing the press outside the FTC Hall, North Eastern Regional Commissioner John Otieno said that the meeting aimed at finding a lasting solution to the insecurity in Garissa town.

“As you are aware, yesterday, six young men lost their lives in the hands of criminals. And these are criminals, bandits that cannot be allowed to operate and to take away people’s lives at will,” Otieno said.

“To this end, the security teams have clear instructions to deal firmly with these criminals. We are going to enhance security patrols within the town,” he added.

He said that the County Security Team will ensure that all the issues agreed upon in the meeting that was also attended by Garissa Senator Abdul Haji, Garissa Township MP Mohamed Barre Dekow, and Garissa Women Rep. Hudgon Siyat, among others, are implemented to the letter.

Otieno said that the security teams have firm instructions to ensure that those behind yesterday’s attack are brought to book, and ‘that will be done within the shortest time possible, he added.

“We will work together with the office of the governor to ensure that all issues that are contributing to the insecurity in Garissa town and its environs are sorted out to allow the citizens to carry on with their businesses in a secure environment without fear,” Otieno noted.

Garissa Governor Nathif Jama condemned the attacks, saying that all the leaders in the area are deeply disturbed and concerned.

Nathif, who read out the resolutions reached during the meeting, appealed to the residents of Garissa to exercise restraint, be calm and desist from any acts of revenge.

“We are working very closely with the county and regional security committees to tackle the matters that could have led to the attacks. Please allow the security committees and us, the elected leaders, to resolve these matters. Restrain yourselves and desist from retaliatory attacks,” Nathif said.

“We have agreed on some issues that we believe are some of the causes of these skirmishes. Our request as a leadership team is for the county security team to apprehend the culprits. That is their responsibility and they should hunt down these criminals,” he added.

He said that the meeting also agreed on a complete disarmament of all illegal firearms in the wrong hands within Garissa County.

“Illegal firearms in the wrong hands are a huge worry for us as leaders. We have enough headaches from Al-Shabaab and we don’t want our people to add more problems to this,” he added.

The meeting also gave the County government, together with the security team, the mandate to put an end to all gypsum mining in the County.

“From Monday next week, no truck carrying gypsum will be allowed to cross the Tana Bridge Police barrier. The gypsum mining was a major contributing factor to the mayhem in the County,” Nathif noted.

The governor said all plot allocations and demarcations will also be suspended until security is fully restored.

By Jacob Songok

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