Fafi MP Abdikadir Osman is now calling on the national government to recruit additional National Police Reservists (NPRs) in sub counties prone to terror attacks bordering war-torn Somalia.
Speaking during a tour of his constituency yesterday, Abdikarim said that there is need to bolster security along the border by increasing the number of NPR because they understand the local terrain much better and incorporating them in boosting the security along the border with Somalia is necessary.
Fafi is one of the sub counties in Garissa most hit by incidents of insecurity. It has witnessed several attacks from the militants who manage to cross back to Somalia after carrying out their attacks.
Notable attacks in the area include the killing of four non-local teachers in Kamuthe early this year and destruction Safaricom masts in Yumbis and Diiso. There were also several attempts to attack health workers in Fafi in May but the government quickly airlifted them to safety.
The militants have over the years managed to evade security officers’ patrols by walking for long distances and mainly using ‘panya routes’ and placing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on road sides targeting security vehicles.
Abdikarim who acknowledged that the government has done a lot in improving security in the region was however quick to say that ‘more needs to be done’.
The MP who was accompanied by the newly recruited Walmerer chief Suleiman Hussein and three assistants chiefs of Yumbis, Bula Golol and Hagadera said that in his constituency there are only 170 NPR, a number he noted cannot be able to adequately cover the vast sub county.
The legislator stressed the need for the administrators to work closely with security officers in ridding their respective areas of jurisdiction of the Al-Shabaab militants.
“Chiefs and their assistant play a central role in gathering intelligence from members of the public and sharing the same with the security officers. I cannot overemphasize their roles in this region in matters security,” Abdikadir said.
He also urged the county government to pay the NPR officers additional allowances to boost their morale in the wake of attacks targeting them and their immediate families.
In early January the militants attacked several NPR officers in Holugho sub county, where they burnt down several houses belonging to the NPRs. they also killed a father to one of the NPRs.
Recruitment of NPRs was given prominence during the time Mohamud Saleh who was appointed the regional commissioner for the area immediately after the Garissa University attack that left 148 people, most of them students dead.
Saleh who was credited for ridding the region of the Shifta menace in early 2000 when he was the provincial commissioner managed to drastically bring down the attacks by the time he left office in 2018.
By Jacob Songok