Nightmare for residents as war pushes up prices


WILLIAM OERI | Nation  The Dobley  Medical  Centre in Somalia 
which was recaptured from the Al-Shabaab by the combined Kenya and 
Somalia forces.

WILLIAM OERI | Nation The Dobley Medical Centre in Somalia which was recaptured from the Al-Shabaab by the combined Kenya and Somalia forces.

By  MUCHEMI WACHIRA mwachira@ke.nationmedia.com AND ISSA HUSSEIN i_hussein@yahoo.com
Posted  Thursday, October 27  2011 at  22:00

In Summary

  • Communities living along the border are feeling pinch of the heightened fight that is aimed at flushing out the Al-Shabaab

 

Despite cheering the campaign by the Kenya defence forces and their allies who are fighting the Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia, communities living along the border are having a nightmare.


They are feeling the pinch of the heightened war in which the armed forces are seeking to flush out the terrorist group.

They are having sleepless nights as the war rages. They are having sleepless nights as the war rages.

Prices of most foodstuff and other commodities have significantly gone up.

Supplies such as sugar, rice, cooking fat and powdered milk that have been finding their way into Kenya through Kismayu, which is a free port.

They come from the Middle East as well as Asia and Europe and they are usually sold cheaply.

Even electronic goods and vehicles are normally cheaply available in border towns like Liboi in Garissa, Elwak in Mandera and Hulugho in Ijara district.

Some of these goods are eventually smuggled into towns like Garissa, Mwingi, Thika and even Eastleigh and other areas in Nairobi.

But since the border was closed, transporters can no longer risk their vehicles on the cutline roads used to ferry such goods.

The roads are now being patrolled by security forces to curb entry of Al-Shabaab insurgents into the country.

Nonetheless, some leaders in North Eastern Province are asking the government not to interfere with operations at Kismayu port once they take it over from the Al-Shabaab.

Before the military operation started two weeks ago, a kilogramme of sugar used to cost between Sh60 and Sh70 in the border towns. Today the same kilogramme costs more than Sh250.

Poor roads network

“I used to buy a bag of 50- kilogrammes of sugar at Sh3,850 but I am now shocked because those who have old stocks left are selling the same amount to us at Sh12,000,” said Mr Dubow Abdi, a trader at Liboi trading centre.

He does not expect the old stocks to last for long. “Soon we shall have no sugar left in our stocks,” the trader said in an interview at his shop.

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9 Shabaab men killed in battle with Kenya army


By PETER LEFTIE pmutibo@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Thursday, October 27  2011 at  22:00
In Summary

  • Terror group raids Mandera leaving four dead as soldiers swing back to action, bombarding Anole, taking Bursar and advancing on Burgabo
 

Kenyan troops on Thursday killed nine Al-Shabaab fighters and injured several others in a fierce exchange of fire after they were ambushed by the militants in Southern Somalia.

The Kenyan troops were ambushed by an estimated 45 Al-Shabaab fighters as they moved from the town of Tabda to Beles Qooqani in central Jubaland to reinforce their compatriots.

“Today, at around 11.30am, Kenyan troops came under Al-Shabaab attack, which marks the first engagement with the militia force. Al-Shabaab strength at the time of attack is estimated at 45 militants,” said Kenya Defence Forces spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir in a statement.

Two Kenyan soldiers were injured, one critically during the fire exchange and were airlifted to the Advanced Dressing Station in Garissa for treatment.

It was the first time the Kenyan troops were encountering resistance from the militants since they started Operation Linda Nchi 10 days ago.

“The attack was conducted as KDF was moving from Tabda to Beles Qooqani to reinforce the forward positions. Nine Al-Shabaab killed with others escaping with injuries. Two KDF troops injured, one critically. The soldiers have all been airlifted for medication,” the statement said.

Earlier, Al-Shabaab caused a stir by reportedly asking for a truce and negotiations, a report later denied by government spokesman Alfred Mutua.