Kenya: 3 teachers kidnapped by gunmen in Dadaab

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Police in Kenya say three teachers have been kidnapped by gunmen from Dadaab refugee camp.

The refugee camp, which remains the largest in the world, is being closed by the Kenyan government due to security concerns. On Wednesday, at around 1am, gunmen stormed the camp’s Al-Huda School and opened fire, shooting indiscriminately before they abducted the three teachers.

 

Police report released

Kenyan authorities revealed details of the case on Thursday, identifying the three teachers as Isaac Mwangi, Alfred Mwangangi and Isaac Kaniu. They also confirmed their intention to find the missing teachers and that no injuries have been reported from the attack.

No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the kidnappings.

“No injury was reported during the said attack but we are investigating with an aim of establishing who these people were,” said Mohamud Saleh, commissioner in Kenya’s northeastern region.

 

Dadaab security concerns

Last year, the Kenyan government revealed its plans to close Dadaab refugee camp, citing security concerns as the primary reason. It says the camp is being used as a recruitment ground for Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab, which has plagued Kenya with terrorist attacks in recent years.

The government is yet to provide any proof to back up these claims, but the closure of Dadaab camp is already in motion. Despite the country’s Supreme Court temporarily blocking the camp’s closure, almost 2,000 refugees are voluntarily leaving the camp on a weekly basis, according to the United Nations. More than 50,000 refugees have already left the camp since the start of the year.

The government originally planned to have the camp fully closed by May, but the Supreme Court has blocked the move for at least six months. The Kenyan government says it will appeal the ruling “in interest of National Security”.

 

Featured image: By DFID – UK Department for International Development – Refugee shelters in the Dadaab camp, northern Kenya, July 2011, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26240609

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.