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One person killed, 11 others injured as fighting continues in Mandera

One person has died from injuries sustained in an attack between warring forces fighting in Mandera County while 11 people have been left nursing serious injuries as security crisis continues in the North Eastern County.

This is according to a section of North Eastern leaders who said the casualties occurred after a clash between forces allied to the Regional Government of Jubaland and the Federal Government of Somalia on Monday, March 2, 2020.

DISPLACED

The leaders, led by Mandera Governor Ali Roba, said that the situation in the county has also led to the displacement of people from six centres around Mandera Town.

The centres are Bulla Customs, Bulla Garay, Bulla Mpya, Bulla Arabia, Bulla Busle and Border Point 1.

“On Monday, the two forces attacked each other with unknown casualties on both sides but left 12 people injured in Mandera Town due to stray bullets where one succumbed to the injury,” Governor Roba said while addressing the media at Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi.

The leaders are now calling on Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to help with humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of displaced people in Mandera Town while urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to help contain the situation by guaranteeing the safety and security of the affected population.

Governor Roba said that the unpredictability of the situation has had a major impact on security in the county has caused panic among the population with leaders getting caught in between diplomatic challenges as a result of the spillover effects of the conflict.

The Governor further stated that the fallout between the two forces has led to complete displacement of Jubaland administration after the Federal Government decided to take over the administrative and security control of border towns of Beled Hawo and Dolo.

CONFLICT

This in turn has led to the Jubaland administration and its security forces crossing over into Kenya and staying at Border Point 1 in Mandera resulting in heavy build-up of security in Beled Hawo by the Federal Government.

“It has become extremely difficult to balance between supporting our Government’s position and representation of the plight of our population who are involuntarily caught up in this conflict making it impossible for us to keep quiet while our people are suffering,” he said.

In as much as they have welcomed the agreement between President Kenyatta and his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Farmajo on the de-escalation of the tension between the two warring factions along the Kenya-Somalia border, they want the government to expel the foreign forces from the county with immediate effect.

The leaders said the lack of meaningful engagement by National Security managers with the region’s leaders has put them in an awkward position as the public has been left with no guidance.

“We refuse to accept that the interest of other external entities supersede that of our population. The situation taking shape in Mandera has eroded public trust in their own government as a result of neglect, misplaced priority and putting the interest of external region over and above that of its own citizens,” he said.