Crisis as workers flee Mandera

What you need to know:

  • Mr Daniel Wambua, a businessman in Mandera town told the Nation outside the KDF camp that hopes of being airlifted to Nairobi had diminished.
  • They had been camping at a military camp in Mandera since the attack fearing for their safety. They opted to leave by road after their long wait for government rescue came to naught.

There was mass exodus Thursday as people working in the terror-hit Mandera County have decided to flee by road.

This spells doom for the county because among those fleeing the county include providers of essential services, including doctors.

They said they decided to take the risk since their pleas to the government to evacuate them by air following Saturday’s massacre had failed.

The professionals, mainly health workers, teachers and other civil servants had demanded that the government to evacuates them from the area after 28 people were executed by suspected Al Shabaab militants.

They had been camping at a military camp in Mandera since the attack fearing for their safety. They opted to leave by road after their long wait for government rescue came to naught.

The Chief of Staff in the Office of the President and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, flanked by Army Commander Jackson Kassaon visited the workers on Tuesday and urged them to stay. “If you leave, then it will appear as if we have surrendered our sovereignty to Al-Shabaab,” Mr Kinyua argued.

The two who were also accompanied by Mandera Governor Ali Roba had assured them of security.

PLEADED WITH THEM

Mr Roba later held a public baraza in Mandera town on Wednesday and pleaded with those who provide essential services not to leave.

Only about 40 women with babies or those who were pregnant were airlifted to Nairobi by the military on Wednesday.

But Thursday, most of the workers said they feared for their lives and opted to leave the county by road.

Mr Daniel Wambua, a businessman in Mandera town told the Nation outside the KDF camp that hopes of being airlifted to Nairobi had diminished.

“We are many here and we have not been told when and if we shall be flying to Nairobi. All they have told us is that a plane will be coming for us,” said Mr Wambua.

“The soldiers are protecting us but to me, I think this is just to calm us down and try to make us stay. We cannot go back because we are not sure about our safety,” Mr Wambua said.

Ms Cate Mugo, a nursery school teacher said she had lost faith in the government to protect her.

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