Political leaders from Mandera have pledged to work with the national government to fix the terrorism menace that has negatively affected the county.
Speaking on Saturday during Mashujaa Day celebrations, the leaders agreed to unite in eliminating terrorism, saying that it has halted their development agenda.
“Today we are faced with very a serious crisis that threatens our existence as a county,” Governor Ali Roba said.
He said Mandera was celebrating Mashujaa Day on the backdrop of increased terror incidents that are threatening his development agenda.
Mr Roba admitted that Mandera has fallen into the trap set by the terrorists of setting Kenyans against each other.
“While Al-Shabaab target locals inside Somalia, they are pitting Kenyans against each other,” he said.
The governor was referring to the closure of quarries and arrests of miners and quarry owners by security agencies in Mandera.
He said the people of Mandera are suffering in the hands of Al-Shabaab through the imposed socio-economic sanctions.
According to the governor, killing of non-local teachers by Al-Shabaab has crippled the education sector in Mandera.
Additionally, the health sector has been affected and the construction industry completely paralysed.
Governor Roba observed that the closing of quarries in May by national government has led to massive unemployment of locals who depended directly on them.
Mr Roba appealed for the re-opening of the quarries, arguing that the move steered the county off its economic development course.
Mandera North MP Mr Bashir Abdullahi pledged his cooperation with the security agencies in fighting terrorism but warned them against targeting innocent locals.
“I am ready to rally for cooperation on security matters but we will not accept situations of our locals being killed or maimed by the security officers,” he said.
He said as a member of the National Assembly Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, he understands why Kenyan troops are in Somalia.
“We will not accept locals to suffer because our troops are in Somalia but I demand that the security agencies do their work properly,” said the retired soldier.
Mandera Senator Homaud Mohamed called on locals to volunteer information to security agencies on the movement of Al-Shabaab terrorists in the county.
By Daily Nation