Mandera County Recalls Staff As Tension Eases

Mandera County staff have been recalled to work with immediate effect after the security situation improved following talks between Kenya and Somalia. They were recalled through an internal memo released on Monday evening by Governor Ali Roba.

The workers were last week asked to stay away from their work stations following a fight between two Somali military camps. The fight at Bula Hawa, a Somali town neighbouring Mandera, spilt into Kenya causing fear, destruction of property, injury and displacement of residents.

“I am asking all county government staff to report back … this is informed by the ongoing negotiations between senior officials of the government of Kenya and their counterparts in Bula Hawa, at our local level in Mandera and in Nairobi and Mogadishu which has resulted in gradual de-escalation of the conflict,” Mr Roba said in the memo.

On Sunday, the Mandera County security committee led by County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha met the district security committee of Bula Hawa in Somalia, along with another delegation from Ethiopia. It remains unclear what was discussed at the meeting held at Bula Hawa, but a source revealed that the three groups agreed to wait for the negotiations between Nairobi and Mogadishu.

“We did not discuss much but agreed to keep talking to the warring sides as we await the outcome of the talks between Nairobi and Mogadishu,” the source said.

During the March 2, 2020 clash between Jubaland forces and the army of the Federal Government of Somalia, Bula Hawa suffered most after Jubaland forces hauled heavy weaponry into the town demolishing business establishments.

“Jubaland forces have moved at least seven kilometres out of town, slightly easing the tension but we continue to monitor the situation keenly,” Mr Roba said in the memo.

The Jubaland forces are reportedly camping at Koromey on the outskirts of Mandera town but within Kenya. Mr Roba directed the county’s Efficiency and Monitoring Unit to carry out spot checks and take stock of all staff and services being offered starting today (Tuesday).

“We continue to encourage and appreciate the interventions led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Federal Republic of Somalia counterpart Mohamed Farmajo,” he said. The Mandera law courts remain closed.

Source: Daily Nation