Police officers manning Kenya-Somali border decry neglect and unpaid dues

Police officers manning Kenya-Somali border decry neglect and unpaid dues

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Police manning the border in Mandera town. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Police officers manning Kenya-Somali border at Usalama camp are crying foul after they were left without allowances and enough facilitation.

The over 30 police officers have also accused the national government for abandoning them at the Alshabaab prone camp for over eight months yet they were to man the area for only six months.

Speaking at Ishakani on Tuesday, the officers comprising of the Administration Police-AP and Kenya Police officers said camp is located at the site where a security wall on the Kenya-Somali border is apparently being put up.

They want the government to have them withdrawn from the area saying it’s too risky an affair without the required facilitation.

They also accused the government of using them as a ‘border wall’ while lying of building a wall on the border and that no such thing was taking place on the ground.

The officers said they had not received a single penny as allowances as earlier promised before they were taken to the camp eight months ago.

They were to be paid Sh.6,300 per day for the six month period that they were expected to be in the area.

The officers said they were having a difficult time operating at the border camp and said they feared for their lives and that the working conditions was also unfavorable.

The officers said they had no food and bedding despite the difficult task they face daily of having to keep the Alshabaab at bay.

They said the government had refused to evacuate them from the area after six months lapsed as earlier agreed and that instead they had been left to suffer.

“The government lied that it would evacuate us once the six months elapse. We are in the eighth month and still there is no sign that we are leaving this place anytime soon.We want our allowances and be evacuated.This is one hell of a dangerous place,”said an officer who pledged anonymity.

The officer revealed that out of the 40 police officers who were deployed to the area late last year, only 30 of them remained after 10 of their colleagues were gunned down as they battled Alshabaab militants on the border.

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He said many others have been injured and are yet to be evacuated for specialized treatment and risk losing their lives from the nature of injuries sustained.

“Most of us are psychologically affected.We feel abandoned.We have been losing our colleagues to the Alshabaab since January.There is need for another group to come and take over,”said another officer.

Commenting on the matter,Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri urged the officers to be patient since the matter was urgently being looked into.

Kanyiri said the government had no intentions of frustrating any officer in the country and that they shall soon be paid their dues and be evacuated for another group to take over.