Residents of Takaba in Mandera West Sub County have been urged to confidentially share information on suspected members of the Al-Shabaab terror group with security agencies.
Speaking at a public forum in the area, North Eastern Regional Commissioner Nicodemus Ndalana appealed to parents to keep in touch and know the whereabouts of their children whom he said could be easily swayed into joining the militia group.
Ndalana revealed that Al-Shabaab crossed into new areas in Mandera early this year and might be planning to recruit young people.
He however warned that the government would not allow terrorists to spread tentacles in the region.
“We are warning parents and guardians to monitor and know the whereabouts of their children. Al-Shabaab might be planning to recruit them into the terrorist group, but the government will not allow them to spread tentacles and affect development in the area,” said Ndalama.
“Kindly help the government to fight Al-Shabaab by sharing information to the authorities and security agencies in the region,” added Ndalama.
Area Governor Ali Roba cautioned locals against engaging terrorists in any kind of business including selling them foodstuffs or linking them to any specific group or clan in the county saying they were everyone’s enemy.
He said many Kenyans have now understood the Al-Shabaab ideology of dividing Kenyans along religious lines.
“Al-Shabaab has no tribe, no clan and no religion. These terrorist are terrorizing all of us. This must stop and it starts with you the residents sharing information to security agencies, let’s not allow them to divide us,” said Roba.
The peace meetings follow many consultative sessions by all elected leaders from Mandera County to address incidents of Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs) and gun attacks on all major roads leading to Mandera and cutting off public transport.
The leaders have clarified that recent attacks were by the Al-Shabaab militia and not fueled by inter clan animosities as reported in a section of the media.
Earlier this month, six people including three police officers were killed in a suspected Al-Shabaab attack on buses and police escorts at Kormatto area, which is between Olla and Serman.
Other leaders present at the meeting included Cabinet Secretary for EAC and Regional Development Adan Mohammed, Senator Mahamud Mohamed, MPs; Kullow Maalim Hassan (Banisa) Hon. Adan Haji (Mandera West) Omar Maalim ( Mandera East) and Mandera Assembly Speaker Mohamed Adan Khalif.
By Charles Matacho