, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) says calls by both teachers and doctors trade unions for their members to vacate the restive North Eastern part of the country is counter-productive as it would play into the scheme of the Al Shabaab terror group.
While strongly condemning the attack where 28 people were kille, NCIC Chairman Francis ole Kaparo said that more focus should be put on uniting Kenyans as the government sought to bring about peace in the area.
He indicated that all Kenyans had a responsibility to contribute to the country’s security while pointing out the need for everyone not to allow the attacks to divide them into ethnic and religious lines.
“We know it is painful when people get killed for no mistakes of their own. But it is definitely not right that we should allow these people to divide us. We must demand that the government makes it secure for everyone since it is unfair to ask everybody to return to their homes and leave such areas. It is unacceptable, it is wrong to tell everyone to go. What guarantee do we have that these terrorists will not hit what you call your home?” he posed.
He pointed out that the attack in Mandera was meant to demoralise Kenyans and that should not be the case.
“They caused this to inflict the greatest pain to the Kenyan people and inflict it even on our morale. They also did this intentionally to drive a point that they are ruthless, that they are capable of doing barbaric acts. This they have succeeded. We all know they are barbarians, we all know they are ruthless and we all know they are heartless,” he stated.
He was speaking during a press conference where he expressed the Commission’s concern about hate speech being propagated on social media and emphasised that tough action will be taken on those found culpable.
“After this occurred, the kind of messages being posted in the social media – Facebook and Twitter – can bring this country down. So we need to be careful not to use divisive language which can bring this country down,” he said.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) on Monday joined calls by the Kenya National Teachers Union (KNUT) and advised all its members to vacate the North Eastern region over insecurity.
KMPDU acting National Secretary-General Abidan Mwachi told members working in Garrisa, Mandera and Wajir to leave immediately and relocate to their home counties.
He expressed concern about the safety of its 35 members and wanted them to withdraw services until they are assured of their security.
On Saturday, Al-Shabaab hijacked a Nairobi-bound bus and executed 28 people in a chilling dawn attack at Arabiya in Mandera near the Kenya-Somalia border.
KNUT over the weekend called on teachers working in insecurity-hit areas to vacate the regions with immediate effect as the government maintained there is no point of alarm.
KNUT Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said that since the government cannot guarantee the safety of teachers, then they should not return to their current stations and await transfer.
Deputy President William Ruto says that the government will have the issue dealt with conclusively and that teachers and other professional deployed in the area will be safe.