In a rare show of unity, all elected MPs from Garissa County led by area Governor, Ali Korane and Senator Yussuf Haji came together in a bid to address the security challenge posed by the Somalia based Al-Shabaab terror group.
In a meeting convened by Korane and also attended by the National Assembly Majority Leader, Aden Duale, the leaders condemned the recent attacks that claimed the lives of four pupils in Saretho and three non-local teachers in Kamuthe this month alone.
The leaders, included Members of Parliament, Sofia Abdinor (Ijara), Mohamed Dahiye (Dadaab), Abdikarim Osman (Fafi), Abdi Omar (Balambala), Mohamed Hire (Lagdera), nominated Senator, Falhatho Iman and former Balambala MP now EALA legislator, Abdikadir Omar.
Also present were several MCAs, both Christian and Muslim clerics and senior security chiefs from the county.
Senator Yussuf Haji said they will no longer engage in blame games but will forge a united front in ending sporadic attacks that have paralyzed education and other key sectors’.
“What has been happening can no longer be tolerated. We have engaged all the stakeholders and we are ready to engage these criminals head-on,” Haji said.
“Going forward we want to urge the government to arm the communities to fight Al-Shabaab,” he added
The Senator said local leaders will come up with resolutions to ensure the militants are gotten rid of in the region adding that they expect the government to support their proposals.
Following the attacks targeting mostly non local teachers, the TSC was forced to withdraw all non-local teachers from Fafi, Balambala Ijara and Hulugho sub-counties and redeployed them to safer sub-counties of Garissa Township, Balambala and Lagdera.
However, the teachers declined the transfers saying ‘there is nowhere safe for non-local teachers within Garissa county schools.’
The Governor said they will engage with the national government to know the number of youths from the area who have joined armed groups and work towards returning them back.“We will also work with national government to ensure our youth are not radicalized,” Korane said.
The leaders asked the government to fight terror within legally acceptable means in order to succeed. “Locals have a bigger role in the fight against terror. Today we will not engage in blame game but come with workable proposals that we are going to share with the national government security agencies,” Korane said.
Duale said the government must engage the locals in the fight against terror adding religious leaders must be in the forefront to speak about ills of terror from the pulpits. “Views of locals should be incorporated in the fight against terror. They should not be victimized or isolated,” Duale said.
The Dadaab MP, Mohamed Dahiye said extra judicial killings, torture and disappearances are counterproductive in the fight against terror. Dahiye said contraband goods have also been blamed as one of the contributors to terror incidents.
This, he noted can be resolved by the government opening the borders to allow legitimate trade to take place.
He said KDF should also be deployed along the border to stop infiltration of the militant into the country.
By Jacob Songok