By Hamza Yare
Following the appointment of Ambassador Mohamud Ali Saleh as the new regional coordinator for North Eastern on Wednesday, area residents have expressed optimism that he will once again restore normalcy in the region.
Mohamud Saleh is widely credited with ending insecurity in the region when it was bogged down on tribal clashes in the late nineties.
He drew his strength not only from his no-nonsense approach but also his vast knowledge of the region as he was born and brought up in the area.
Mohamed Ali, a resident of Garissa town said that by his appointment, the government has effectively ended the mistrust between security agencies and locals.
“Locals were not confident in submitting any information to security agencies because you report an incident today and when the culprit is arrested you will find him in the streets the following day as he would buy his freedom” said Mr. Ali adding that as a result they’ll be left at the mercy of such criminal elements.
He describes how locals found themselves between the devil and the deep blue see when it came to matters security.
“On one hand we fear the criminal elements while on the other, the very security officers who should be protecting us” he added saying that with Saleh at the helm, they will now have a confidante to turn to in case they see any malpractices.
His sentiments were echoed by Mrs. Halima Mohamed who runs a small business in Wajir town.
Speaking to Nepjournal on phone, Halima said that she remembers Swaleh speaking at public barazas with clear instructions to security and administration officers that they will be held responsible should an insecurity incident happen in their area of jurisdiction.
As a result, she says, breathing fire from the top assisted as everyone was working hard to avoid being cornered by the senior administrator.
North eastern bore the brunt of Al-shabaab attacks with the deadliest being the April 2 attack on Garissa University College which left 147 dead most of them students.
Mr. Saleh was on several occasions proposed for appointment in the security sector by both the leaders and locals of the North Eastern region.
While he hails from Wajir South, the senior administrator took a non partisan approach in the conflicts he is credited to contain.
At the time, senior administrators were accused of siding with certain quarters after receiving handouts but when he came in, Mr. Saleh would entertain none of that and is on record of dealing with locals without fear or favor.
Even his kinsmen were not favored when found on the wrong side of the law. This earned him friends and foes in equal measure, but years down the line, everybody would sing in his praise and recommend him for the job once again.
Saleh’s appointment is part of a raft measures the government was taking to arrest the run away insecurity in the region.
A team appointed to probe the April 2 Garissa terror attack started its work on Monday, meeting some of the officers who had been suspended by Boinnet and Nkaissery.
Led by head of operations at CID headquarters Mr. Mohamed Amin and backed by Ngatia Iregi, Lidia Ligami, Bruno Soshio and Jason Mworia, the team wants to establish why the attack happened despite the fact that there was intelligence on the pending strike by the Al-Shabaab militants.
They are accompanied by five prosecutors who have been appointed by the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko to assist in the probe