The murder of three teachers by suspected Al Shabaab militants in Wajir County has yet again confirmed the delicate situation in northern Kenya. The brazen attack in Qarsa Primary School on Friday morning, which left scores injured, aggravated security fears in much of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties. For about 10 years now, the Islamic insurgents have held a risky, if sporadic, sway in the north, the result of which has been mass murders, destruction of property, and kidnapping of security personnel and tourists.
The militants, unhappy with the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia, have been determined to prove a point. In November 2014, they intercepted a bus and killed 28 passengers in Mandera. A month later, they ambushed a quarry and shot 36 people.
Local police posts have been overrun several times and weapons stolen even in recent months. Not only, at least five masts have been destroyed in less than a month in Wajir County alone.
Although security officials expect these attacks to subside due to the construction of a border wall, the threats are real than imagined. The wall has covered a 10km stretch. It will stretch from the Indian Ocean to the Kenya-Somali-Ethiopia border convergence point. There’s no denying that the war on terror has been a delicate one. This is why the government should pull all stops to ensure these rascals who kill and maim are dealt with once and for all.
We believe life is sacrosanct. No one has the authority to kill people at will for whatever reasons. Northern Kenya residents, like other citizens, have a right to enjoy peace. The region, too, should be calm enough to attract investments.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i should put in place a robust mechanism to keep this region safe and vibrant.
We cannot have security teams who fight political protestors with vigour but fail to impress when it comes to fighting the enemy. Complicit security officials should be shown the door. The safety of Kenyans can no longer be taken for granted.