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Kenya: Assure non-locals of safety, MP tells Northeastern leaders

Thursday May 17, 2018

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu has asked Northeastern politicians to clearly state if they want non-locals to work in the area.

He condemned the regular attacks in Northeastern that have left tens of Nyeri people dead and others injured.

Wambugu spoke outside his office after meeting 42 people who survived a terror attack in Mandera.

“We are allowed by the law to work anywhere in this country. But it seems the criminals are only targeting the non-locals,” he said.

“We are asking our counterparts in Mandera to tell us what they want us to tell our people. If they want us to stop our people from going to Mandera, they should say so.”

He said politicians should ensure people are safe. “What is the responsibility of elected leaders in Mandera, if not making sure the people who live there, whether locals or from elsewhere, are not attacked?” Wambugu said.

In May, four quarry miners were killed by suspected al Shabab militants in a quarry in Shimbir Fatuma, Mandera South.

The incident took place 65km from the Kenya-Somalia border, where miners are said to have been staying. Two others were also injured in the attack.
The quarry workers had earlier defied government orders to vacate the area over insecurity, with the government blaming the workers for not heeding calls to evacuate.

Governor Ali Roba, while condemning the incident, said it was unfortunate to see the lives of innocent Kenyans being lost, despite intelligence reports being available for security personnel to act on.

“It is extremely sad because actionable intelligence was there. It had in fact been shared a week earlier that al Shabaab terror cells were moving. But unfortunately no security response took place,” he said.

The governor blamed the security personnel for doing little to stop the attack. Wambugu said most of the attacks take place when miners are about to be paid.

Athman Ismail, a miner from Nyeri town, said they seek jobs in Mandera due to poverty.

Ismail said they left the mines without their belongings or salaries after the attack. Their employers switched off their phones soon after the attack and went into hiding, he said.

“We travelled for nine days on our way back, depending on well-wishers for food,” said Ismail, who has been working in Mandera since 2012.


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