By Hamza Yare
The government has extended the curfew imposed on Tanariver, Garissa, Mandera and Wajir counties by one more month with effect from May 17, 2015.
In a Gazette notice dated May 15, 2015, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery directed that the order will apply during the hours of darkness (between 6.30pm to 6.30am) until June 16, 2015 when a decision on whether to lift or extend it will be arrived at.
“Under the Curfew Order, no gathering or procession should have more than five persons without authorization of the County Police Commander,” said the Nkaissery in the notice.
The extension comes as businesses in the affected area were counting losses by the day.
While improved security has been registered in the region, Al-shabaab militants have still raided the region even as the curfew was in place.
Security officers were attacked in Hamey and Ijara by the militants in daring attacks.
On the other hand, locals received news of the extension with mixed reactions.
While a section of residents interviewed by Nepjournal said that it has resulted in increased discipline socially, others decried interference of prayer times as most mosques have been combining evening prayers (Maqrib and Isha).
Women in the affected areas are a happy lot as youth and men who would erstwhile spend most of their time outside socializing are now indoors by 6 pm resulting in families getting more time to spend together.
The curfew is part of measures introduced by the government in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attack on Garissa University College in which 142 people, most of them students lost their lives.
Senior Security and Administration officials in the region were also sent packing and their place taken by a new team.
Notable appointment was that of a former PC credited with arresting runaway insecurity in the region in the late nineties Amb. Mohamud Ali Saleh as the regional coordinator.