Calls have been made to civil servants and non-locals in North-Eastern region not to flee the region following an attack on a Nairobi bound bus in Mandera

County by the Al Shabaab terror group which left 28 dead. Leaders from the region sharply reacted to the statement made by some trade unions asking their members to leave the region. Led by Balambala Member of Parliament Abdikadir Aden, the leaders said the action by the unions will impact negatively on hospitality and peaceful coexistence that has been in the region and amounts to punishing innocent children, parents and local communities for crimes committed by terrorists who have carried out similar attacks in other parts of the country. He stressed that their security is guaranteed by the Government and there should be no fear and anxiety. Aden urged the government to put stringent measures in place to ensure safety of all Kenyans living or working in the region bordering the war-torn Somalia as provided in the constitution.

So far, six unions had asked their members to stay away from the areas affected by insecurity until the government guaranteed their safety. The group included teachers, health workers and artisans. The legislator called on Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and other unions who declared the region a no -go -zone to have their members reconsider their move. “The teachers’ union’s move will be a double tragedy for the children and parents who are already terribly devastated by the death of their beloved teachers and medical officers,” said Aden.

On his part the chairperson of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission Francis ole Kaparo said trade unions and professional bodies  should not withdraw members from the region despite insecurity adding that emotional action and statements could easily play into the hands of terror groups. He said the move serves the interests of those who aim at dividing Kenya along religious lines. “Whereas it is the duty of trade unions and other professional bodies to be concerned about the welfare of their members, emotive pronouncements such as those by KNUT and the Doctors’ Union will be counter-productive and could easily play into the evil hands of the Al-Shabaab terror group, which is bent on balkanizing Kenyans along regional, ethnic and religious lines,” Kaparo said.” The chairman also expressed concerns about the rising cases of hate speech being propagated on social media warning that severe action will be taken on those found culpable.

“After this (Mandera attack) 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

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