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North-Eastern MPs fear over 26 schools not to reopen

01 September 2014, 23:01 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – A group of MPs from the inter-clan affected North Eastern region have expressed their fear that over 26 schools in the province especially in Mandera County would not reopen for 3RD Term learning due to the on-going conflict.

The more than four legislators led by the Wajir West MP, Abdikadir Ore, said the militia from the Garre clan disguised as the Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) has launched attacks against the Degodia clan, violating various human rights provisions such as rape, maiming, killing and forceful evictions.

“When all schools in Kenya resume for 3rd Term, over 26 schools in Mandera County will not reopen due to this conflict. The students are missing, displaced or killed by these sustained attacks,” said Ore.

“Only in the last one week, this inter-clan conflict in Mandera County has claimed over 200 lives, internally displaced 30 000 people and has seen three constituencies almost deserted. In Guba, Joroqo and Ogarweinealone, over 150 houses, three schools and a health center were destroyed,” he added.

Ore alleged that the Mandera County administration, drawn from the Garre clan, is fanning and fueling the conflict using the taxpayers’ money for its militia to eradicate the Degodia community from the region.

He asserted that the National Government’s effort to resolve the four-year conflict has thwarted due to misguided tribal agenda of Mandera County which allegedly said it finances, recruits, trains, arms and maintains its clan militia.

“On August 29th, 2014, the Mandera County Secretary and Sub-county Administrator were arrested by police in Rhamu while distributing cache of ammunition and cash to the Garre militia,” said Ore.

“On August 29th, 2014, a contingent of Garre clan militia disguised and dressed in Kenya Police Reservist uniform and transported in Mandera County vehicles were apprehended by KDF at Sala Location in Rhamu Sub-county and handed over to the police,” he added.

The Eldas MP, Adan Keynan, said whereas the Security function is not devolved, the County has a fully operational security department using youths trained for the former Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG).

“The well over 2 000 TFG returnees were initially disguised as Somali nationals. The Garre clan fought all its neighbors in the past including; the Murule, Ajuran, Marehan and the Borana in order to fulfill their never ending quest for territorial aspirations,” said Keynan.

“This ‘Garre Territory’ cuts across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia with one single leader, flag and council,” he added.

Keynan held that the country’s security should not be devolved to counties to avoid the insecurity situation where county government administrations may misuse to it for their own gains.

Tarbaj MP, Mohamed Elmi, said the conflict is turning into a full-blown war with the loss of life, destruction of property and looming humanitarian crisis, thus, called on the national government to urgently intervene by deploying the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) to weed out the militia.

“We ask President Uhuru Kenyatta to immediately order for forceful disarmament of all militias operating in the county, order to disband and disarm KPR in Mandera County as was the case for Marsabit County,” said Elmi.

“Order the immediate investigation and arrest of all public officials implicated in the conflict and order by-partisan relief assistance for IDPs in the County,” he added.

Elmi reiterated that since the national government’s dialogue approach to settle the conflict between the two warring clans has failed, the deployment of KDF is the only ultimate solution.

Also present at the press conference at Parliament Buildings was the Wajir East MP, Abbas Sheikh.

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