MANDERA, Kenya – Days after Mandera Governor Ali Roba called for government action in the region amid increasing cases of Al-Shabaab-led attacks, militants ransacked a village in the region on Saturday. region, resulting in a violent shootout with the security forces.
Reports indicate that militants of Al-Shabaab and Kenyan security forces fought in the village of Wako Dadacha in the Banisa sub-county of Mandera, leaving one civilian dead and another seriously injured, after about 5 hours of fights.
Banisa is located almost 150 kilometers west of the town of Mandera and is one of the areas considered safe given the distance from the Kenya-Somalia border, where Al-Shabaab militants would have control. This is the second attack in the region in as many months.
The incident comes days after Governor Roba claimed that “more than half of Mandera is now under Al Shabaab. It is quite dangerous for our internal security and our people must be protected by the government. We are suffering the weight of Al-Shabaab. ”
He added: “Despite the presence of the security forces, things are not in good order and the government must act immediately. The team is collecting Zakat from the residents in addition to unleashing terror. The time has come for it. government to make security a priority in this region. ”
But the government refuted the claims on Saturday, saying that security agents had succeeded in driving al-Shabaab out of the area. According to the government, al-Shabaab has since crossed into Somalia following heated operations in the northeast region.
“Contrary to the governor’s claims, since 2013 Mandera County has recorded steady gains thanks to our security forces repelling and deterring threats to life and property,” said the Northeast Regional Coordinator, Nicodemus Ndalana.
Mandera, Wajir and Garissa remain Al-Shabaab hotspots and over the past ten years several civilians, especially non-locals, have been targeted by the militants. In fact, the government has been forced to withdraw several teachers from the area who are not locals.