By BRUHAN MAKONG
Sunday December 8, 2019
Wajir County leaders during their visit to the Wajir Referral Hospital on December 7, 2019. They condemned the Friday terrorist attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants on a passenger bus that was travelling to Mandera. PHOTO | BRUHAN MAKONG | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Leaders from Wajir County have condemned the Friday terrorist attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants on a passenger bus that was travelling to Mandera.
The attack, which left 11 people dead, happened between Wargadud and Kutulo.
Among those killed were eight police officers stationed in Elram, Mandera County.
Speaking to journalists on Saturday, the leaders termed the attack as a plot by the terrorists to cause divisions among the residents based on religion and ethnicity.
Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi said his administration will work together with the national government in fighting the terror menace.
"We understand that security lies under the national docket but as county leaders we will support the government’s efforts to prevent such attacks in future," he said.
Mr Abdi said they will hold a series of meetings with all the leaders and residents in the county in an attempt to ensure that long-lasting peace is achieved.
While condoling with the families and relatives of the victims, the governor called on the government to come up with adequate measures to avert such attacks.
TRAVEL WITH GUNS
Mr Abdi suggested that security officers who work in the terror prone areas should be allowed to travel with their weapons every when they ply the routes perceived to be dangerous.
The governor sounded a warning to sympathisers of the terrorist in the county, saying they should be dealt with ruthlessly.
"Those people who might have provided the information about the passengers to the terrorists are the ones that we need to first deal with,” he said.
Eldas MP Adan Keynan also condemned the attack, saying that the militants were out to soil the name of the county by committing such evil acts in the name of religion.
"The loss of human life transcends everything else; they are using Islam but what they have done is unacceptable to any society," he said.
Mr Keynan called on the residents to cooperate with security agencies in sharing information which will play a crucial role in fighting terror.
“We call upon the residents to collaborate with the security agencies in sharing information to ensure that the few individuals who are out to soil our names are apprehended, arraigned and dealt with once and for all," he said.
Tarbaj MP Ahmed Bashane called for a change in tack in the fight against terrorism in the county.
"This incidences have been happening almost every year and I think time has come for us to change our strategy and think outside the box in order to stop the recurring attacks," he said.
Wajir East MP Rashid Kassim described the attack as cowardly, adding that as leaders, they will pool resources to ensure that the attacks do not happen again in the county.
Wajir West MP appealed to the government to come up with a local mechanism in the fight against violent extremism.
East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Fatuma Ibrahim said that Kenya needs to relook into its strategy in the fight against terror.
"These terrorists are not in Uganda or Tanzania or Burundi and Kenya needs to ask itself hard questions why such elements are finding a haven in the country and particularly the northern region," she said.
Wajir County has borne the brunt of terrorist attacks by Al-Shabaab militants who have often crossed into the county from the neighbouring Somalia to commit the illegal acts.
Other areas affected by the frequent attacks include Mandera and Garissa which both border Somalia.
The porous border has made it easy for militants to cross into and out of the country undetected on several occasions.