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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Deploy Army in Mandera, Say MPs

by Isaac Ongiri and Hussein Salesa
Nairobi Star

March 2, 2011

MPs from North Eastern yesterday demanded the immediate reclamation of Mandera town said to have been seized by Ethiopian militia. Mandera East MP Mohamed Hussein Ali led MPs Aden Dualle of Dujis and Mohamed Affey (nominated) in demanding military action to secure the Kenyan territory which they said is under invasion. "Residents are fleeing Mandera town because of a war which has nothing to do with the people of Kenya. The government must take responsibility and secure the people," Hussein said.

He further said the town has been deserted as the militia from Ethiopia have taken over with the local security officers unavailable to secure Kenyans.

The three MPs were addressing journalists at a press conference in Parliament buildings. Nominated MP Mohamed Affey blamed the insecurity at the border of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somali to the absence of a minister for Foreign Affairs in Kenya. "This situation is escalating because Kenyan diplomacy is in shambles due to the absence of a serious Foreign Affairs minister," he said.

The legislator, who is also a career diplomat, said acting ministers are never taken seriously by their peers and called on President Kibaki to appoint a new minister in the docket.

George Saitoti is acting as the minister for Foreign Affairs following the resignation of Sirisia MP Moses Wetangula. Dujis MP Aden Dualle said Somali wars should not be fought in Kenya and called on the government to act for the security of Kenyans in Mandera. "The government must move to restore peace in the area by ensuring Somali wars are not fought in the Kenyan soil, "he said.

Meanwhile, six Somalis are admitted at the Isiolo District Hospital after they were involved in an accident along the Isiolo-Moyale road. The six were fleeing fierce fighting between government forces and rebel groups in central Somalia.

Two of the Somalis will be charged today with being in the country illegally while the four others will be taken to court later after undergoing specialised treatment.

Some of the foreigners escaped after the accident despite the presence of the police. Isiolo police boss Augustine Nthumbi said their vehicle was speeding to avoid a police road block when it rolled.



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