Mandera quarries shut over Al-Shabaab threat

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The government has ordered all quarries in Mandera to be closed immediately citing security reasons.

“We have asked miners to leave for their homes until next year because we need time to organize our security team and they also need to be with their families,” said Mandera police boss Job Boronjo.

Mr Boronjo said the quarries were prone to attacks by Al-Shabaab militants.

“With the ongoing threats, we don’t want to risk. We have asked more than 500 miners to go home and enjoy Christmas with their families as we organise ourselves,” he said after an exercise to flush out the miners.

He said miners are an easy target for the attackers because they are in far-flung areas that are not easily accessible by security officers.

“Quarry workers are here in large numbers compared to other non-locals. They are always in large groups making them the most targeted. We have to protect their lives,” said Mr Boronjo.

He warned that anybody found in the quarries would be arrested and prosecuted.

NOT WELL RECEIVED

However, the move was not well received by quarry workers.

Mr David Maina said the police had not given good enough reasons for the closure, arguing that the quarries were secure.

“We left all the quarries along the Somalia-Kenya border and moved to those nearer the security personnel. The same police advised us to do that. Why the change of tune? posed Mr Maina.

“I am wondering where I will get next year’s school fees. This is our livelihood,” he added.

Mr Nderitu Wagoro said police should have issued a notice for them to vacate the quarries.

Last year, 36 quarry workers were killed by Al-Shabaab militants in Mandera’s Koromey quarry.

Most of them were from Nyeri County.

Daily Nation

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