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Police escort of buses on the Mandera-Nairobi route ‘still on’

Monday July 04 2016
bus-pic

Security officials inspect the bus that was attacked by Al-Shabaab near Elwak, Mandera County, on July 1, 2016 where six people were killed. Bus companies in Mandera County are set to resume business on Wednesday after a 17-day protest against insecurity. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MANASE OTSIALO

Police are still providing armed escort to buses plying the Mandera-Nairobi route, the government has said.

“The police escort of buses is going on smoothly within Mandera like it has always been and at no single moment has the operation been withdrawn,” Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said Sunday.

He said the Friday attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants that left six people dead and fourteen others injured was unfortunate.

“We are and shall continue providing security escort to all buses but we insist that no non-local should be allowed in the buses within Mandera and Kotulo area,” said Mr Shisia.

Non-locals, he said, would only be allowed into buses after the county security committee meets to review the security situation after Ramadhan ends.

A non-local intending to get out of Mandera has to use the Mandera-Takaba-Mayale route, proceed to Marsabit then Isiolo and to Nairobi.

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COMPLAINTS BEING HANDLED

He said complaints by police officers that the vehicles they were using were not customised to serve in the area had been received and forwarded to Nairobi and would be rectified soon.

A well-placed source within the police told Nation that the three armoured vehicles assigned to them broke down “long time ago”.

“We have armoured vehicles that have limitations as they cannot be driven at a speed of 40km/h for four hours continuously,” said the source.

But Mr Shisia said: “We have ways of dealing with security issues that cannot be shared with public but all is well.”

He denied that police officers were on a go-slow, making the Kenya Police Reservists escort the buses plying the route.

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