The leaders from Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa have jointly called Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta to offer amnesty to Al-Shabaab fighters from the Northeastern region.
In a conference held in Mandera town, the governor from the region said the amnesty would help Al-Shabaab youth from the region to return and reform.
Mandera governor, Ali Roba who is the host governor noted that dozens of fighters from the region fear to return their homes saying amnesty will help them reform their lives and integrate the society peacefully.
“There are dozens of youth from this region who were misled to join the terror Al-Shabaab but now are willing denounce the group, therefore, we need the government to offer them a chance to return their homes without fear,” he said.
Mr. Roba said terrorism had led to the poor development and they needed to act.
He said several key projects have either stalled or failed to start because of violence. Therefore it’s necessary to fight the terrorists he said.
“We are not only suffering as a result of targeted terror attacks on our population but we also seem to have fallen into the trap set by the terror cells of dividing people along religious and communal lines,” Roba said.
He said that while Al-Shabab is targeting mainly Somalis in Somalia, they are pitting Kenyans against each other.
Roba said they target non-locals, frightening them away and thereby hurting the economy, Their aim in Kenya is economic sabotage, as in Somalia, the governor said.
“By killing non-local quarry workers they have successfully managed to bring down the entire construction industry which is the only major economic opportunity for thousands of Mandera residents,” Roba said.
He said many schools have remained without teachers, crippling the entire education sector. Terrorists also have disrupted the health sector by killing health workers,” Roba said.
He added: “The menace has been compounded further by the inter-clan fighting that has been infiltrated by the terror group. If indeed you care, defend your land by providing the required information to the authorities.”
“Their attacks are worse than colonization. They have made our schools, hospitals, quarries and all other critical sectors of our economy lack human resource because of fear,” said Mr Roba.
He urged the public to volunteer information to the police or risk being isolated by the whole country because of the terrorist activities.
For his part, Garissa governor Ali Korane who presided over the conference said terrorism cannot be combated and ended with guns.
“You cannot fight a problem if you are part of it. Our first commitment should be to engage the government and see to it that our youths in the ranks of Al-Shabaab are given amnesty after returning from Somalia. That’s because they are the genesis of all the problems we are facing today,” said Korane.