Curfew is hurting our businesses – traders
Say it deprives them freedom of worship
Traders in Mandera say they have incurred huge losses since the dawnto-dusk curfew was imposed. The government ordered the curfew after 18 people were killed in two terrorists attacks by al Shabaab in a span of three weeks in October.
Mandera businessman Hassan Mohammed said they close their businesses as early as 4pm to beat the curfew. “It starts at 6pm and we have to close our businesses two hours early, since some of us live far away from our work premises,” he said.
Miraa traders said they have incurred huge losses as khat is highly perishable and is mostly sold in the evening and at night. “In the past few weeks ... I have had to throw away miraa every evening,” vendor Idris Ahmed said.
Residents said the curfew deprives them of the freedom of worship. “We cannot go to the mosque in the evening,” a resident who sought anonymity said.
Last week four leaders led by Governor Ali Roba urged the government to reconsider the areas that the curfew should be enforced. They said it should be imposed in crime-prone areas.
“The curfew has extended to areas that are not affected by attacks. We support the government’s move, but we request that it is only enforced in areas prone to attacks,” Roba said.
The leaders accused security officers of harassing residents who violate the curfew. More than 60 people have been arrested and charged.
County commissioner Fredrick Shisia has said the curfew will remain in force for two months.