Mandera staff told to stay home amid security fears

Wednesday March 18 2020
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Mandera County Governor Ali Roba. He asked Mandera staff to stay away from offices over security fears. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MANASE OTSIALO

Mandera Governor Ali Roba Tuesday asked county government employees to stay away from their offices over security fears.

Mr Roba issued the directive a few minutes after Mandera County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha reassured locals of improved security in the town.

On Monday, Somali military forces clashed in Bulahawa, a neighbouring town, causing tension and fear in Mandera.

Mr Roba said military action by the Somalis has put the lives of county workers at risk.

“I have asked all county employees in Mandera town to leave their offices as we continue to monitor the security situation here,” he said while confirming the orders issued at 8am.

The Mandera County boss added that all departments will remain closed except health and the fire brigade.

Mr Roba said there are reports that the two forces are planning to engage each other again.

Mr Roba blamed the national government for the military clash between the Jubbaland forces and their Federal Government of Somalia counterparts on the Kenya-Somalia border on Monday.

“The leadership of Mandera has been engaging the national government on possible ways of dealing with the presence of the wanted Jubbaland minister here but nothing has been done,” he said.

He urged the national government to move with speed and get the fugitive Jubbaland minister out of Mandera for peace to prevail.

The Jubbaland State security minister is wanted for alleged crimes against humanity and escaping from custody.

He arrived in Mandera town on January 30 after escaping from custody in Mogadishu on January 28 where he had been held since August 31, 2019.

It is alleged that he is being hosted at a local military camp where some of the Jubbaland forces are camping after withdrawing from the Monday clash.