Mandera reps to sue Britain over grenades

Some Mandera county leaders have threatened to sue the British government.

They want to demand compensation for residents killed or injured as a result of grenades left behind years ago by British soldiers. The leaders spoke at the funeral of five children who died on Thursday.

The children aged between 12 and 16 found a grenade and thought it was a toy.

It exploded in their hands in the 6pm incident.

They are Abdullahi Wethow, 12, Qureisha Aliyarow, 15, Habiba Hassanow, 15, Nishey Bishar, 12, and Fatuma Bishar, 14.

Deputy county commissioner Mathias Chishambo said the incident happened 2km inside Ethiopia. The children had crossed over while herding animals.

The ongoing rains are suspected to have washed the grenades to areas where they are easily spotted by children, who pick them up while playing. MCA Bashir Ibrahim said it is unfortunate to see children dying because of the soldiers’ negligence.

“The colonialists left behind dangerous objects that continue to kill our people and leave many others disabled,” Ibrahim said.

He added, “But what annoys us most is the fact that despite all this, we haven’t heard anything from them, not even an apology.” County assembly majority leader and Malkamari MCA Abdi Hassan asked how many more lives have to be lost before action is taken.

“Our children don’t know these objects which seem to be strewn all over the place. How many deaths do they want recorded before they take action?” Hassan said.

He added, “We have had enough and as a community we will be moving to court to sue the British government and demand compensation.”

The children’s parents did not want to speak to the media. Overcome with grief, some of them fainted during the burial and had to be taken to the dispensary.