NAIROBI, Kenya – Hundreds of teachers in northern Kenya bordering Somalia have refused to return to work, fearing attacks by Islamic extremist.
The teachers demonstrated outside parliament in Nairobi Tuesday demanding that the government transfer them to schools in safer regions.
Kenya National Union of Teachers Chairman Mudzo Nzili said the estimated 700 protesting teachers were from Wajir, Mandera and Garissa, where most of the residents are Kenyans of Somali ancestry.
Nzili said the demonstrating teachers are non-Somali and fear for their lives following attacks that singled out non-Somalis by the Somali militant group al-Shabab.
In November al-Shabab attackers hijacked a bus near the town of Mandera, singled out non-Muslims and non-Somalis, and shot dead 28. Twenty-two of those killed were teachers. Ten days later al-Shabab massacred 36 quarry workers who were non-Muslims.