Workers flee Mandera due to rising terror attacks
08 December 2014, 08:15
Mandera - Dozens of public servants in Mandera are fleeing the restive region due to increased insecurity following the massacre of over 60 people in the past three weeks.
Mandera leaders told journalists on Sunday that over 20 health facilities have been closed after health personnel left the county for fear of attacks, adding that they issued an appeal to the national government to help them retain public servants fleeing the area.
"As we speak, over 150 teachers have already sent their requests to Teachers Service Commissioner, appealing to leave the county with no intention of coming back," Mandera Governor Ali Roba told journalists after holding a security meeting.
He said the recent insecurity incidences where Al-Shabaab ambushed a Nairobi bound bus and killed 28 non Muslim passengers and this week's massacre of 36 quarry workers have negatively affected the county.
Some residents claim terrorists who recently struck Mandera exploited long-running clan feuds and historical grievances to facilitate their murderous mission.
The militants are also thought to have taken advantage of the long and barely guarded open border with Somalia to get into the country, commit anarchy and dash back.
Roba said all major development projects have stalled due to fear of insecurity, adding that all the technical supervisors on major projects have stopped.
Reports from the border town said all ground transport and three civilian flights that depart weekly from Mandera have recently been fully booked.
Some trade unions, including those of teachers and medical workers, have advised their members to leave the area. Those at the base are in fact mainly teachers, health workers, construction workers and other civil servants.
However, the government said besides improving the key roads in Mandera, the Kenya Defence Forces and the police were to provide escort for travelers along the dangerous borderline route on which 28 people were killed.
The dilapidated main Mandera-Garissa road has forced motorists to use the road near the Somali border, exposing them to frequent terror attacks in which many have died.
Also read: Govt to relocate non-Muslims after deadly attacks
Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow who also attended the security meeting called on the president to appeal to the workers union to halt the exodus and put measures to secure the area against Al- Shabaab attacks.
"We also had a closed session with religious leaders from this county. Our main issue was to sensitise them on the consequences of covering up for militia groups," he said.
Kerrow said the meeting was aimed at making the leaders and locals understand the impacts of radicalism of youths, despite seeking a lasting solution to the security challenge.
The Mandera county and other parts of northern Kenya have been subjected to successive explosive attacks by Al-Shabaab operatives in the country following the onslaught by Kenyan soldiers on the Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
The recent surge in attacks in northern region and Mombasa came amid heightened security across the country after Somali insurgents threatened reprisal attacks in Kenya if its soldiers who launched cross border incursions in 2011 do not leave the Horn of Africa nation.