Officers praised for ‘subduing’ Shabaab

Northeastern regional commissioner Mohamud Saleh addressing the press after suspected al shabaab militia were arrested on January 5,2017.Photo file

Northeastern regional commissioner Mohamud Saleh yesterday praised security agents in Mandera for efforts in the war against al Shabaab.

He said security officers in the county have made tremendous strides in suppressing the militants.

Saleh said the region is largely peaceful apart from a few pockets where attacks have been witnessed.

He spoke to the press on the sidelines of a security meeting in Garissa town.

Saleh singled out Arabia in Mandera, saying, “It is volatile, unpredictable and challenging because you don’t know whom you dealing with or where they are coming from.”

He said challenges are still there, particularly in Mandera East, Arabia, Lafey and Elwak subcounties that border Somalia.

“Most of the times our gallant officers don’t get the praise they deserve. But truth is you have done a lot of work to suppress al Shabaab activities in the region,” Saleh said.

He al Shabaab operatives use the area to carry out incursions on security vehicles, plant landmines, target security and Safaricom masts before retreating back to Somalia.

Saleh said the militants sabotage government activities in the area

He said although the government has used a lot of resources because of al Shabaab, it is reviewing its strategies to combat terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism in the region.

Last week while on a tour in Mandera and Wajir counties, Saleh directed that al Shabaab operatives in the two counties be arrested and charged if they fail to surrender.

He named four operatives from Wajir East.

The four are Ali Mohamed Muhumed, Mohamed Muhumed Osman, Abdirashid Ibrahim and Yussuf Hassan Abdullahi.

Saleh ordered area deputy commissioner to ensure the suspects are arrested if they fail to surrender.

And while in Mandera, he said the government has 35 names of individuals from Mandera who have been recruited by al Shabaab to carry out attacks in the country.

He said the individuals are well-known to the locals and they cross crossover to Somalia at will.