Elders from the Murule clan in Mandera have pledged to support President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga’s Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) after a new administration unit was commissioned in the county.
Led by Sultan Mohamed Khalif, the supreme traditional leader of the clan, the council lauded the national government initiative to declare Arabia a sub-county.
“We are delighted and grateful as a community for having an extra sub-county in Mandera which means more employment opportunities and development for our people,” said Sultan Khalif.
He declared that the Murule clan is now ready to support the BBI process since the national government has proved that it cares for the people of Mandera.
“We are asking President Kenyatta to bring the BBI report to the people and we shall fully support it because we now understand that he means well for this country,” he said.
Sultan Khalif urged residents of the newly commissioned sub-county to keep peace and security for development to be realised.
“We are asking every resident of Mandera, and those within the new sub-county in particular, to ensure they promote peace and security so that the area can be developed,” he said.
Arabia has been making headlines since 2014 when 28 passengers in a Nairobi-bound bus were killed after it was hijacked and commandeered into Somalia by suspected Al-Shabaab militants.
The area, located along the Mandera-Lafey-Elwak road, has recorded 116 terror incidents since 2014 according to local police files.
Sultan Khalif called on residents to co-operate with security agencies to ensure insecurity is dealt with within Arabia.
Peace and security
“The government is relying on us and we have to co-operate and the council is asking everyone in Arabia to volunteer information to security officers because we want peace and security in our area,” he said.
Mr Abdullahi Abdinur Gesey, a council member, said insecurity problems in the area will now be solved with the presence of the national government on the ground.
“We understand that an area declared a sub-county has the capacity to ensure security and development and that is what we are expecting for Arabia,” he said.
Each clan in Mandera has a council of elders that is a powerful and instrumental institution that makes almost every decision for the clan.
Arabia is an area inhabited by the Murule clan, the third largest in Mandera after the Garre and Degodia clans. Other clans living in Mandera include the Corner tribe and the Marehan.
Commissioning of Arabia as a sub-county brings to eight the total number of sub-counties in the county, including Mandera East, Mandera North, Mandera West and Banisa.
Others are Mandera South, Lafey and Kotulo, although disputed, and Arabia. Kiliweri was also gazetted in 2007 but is yet to be commissioned.