NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 19 2012 (Garowe Online) – Kenya’s Defense
Minister has been appointed acting Minister of Internal Security and Provincial
affairs a position held by the late George Saitoti, Garowe Online reports.
President Mwai Kibaki appointed Minister of Defense Yussuf Mohamed Haji as
acting Minister of Internal Security on Monday, following the death of George
Former Minister Saitoti and his deputy Orwa Ojode died after their helicopter
crashed in the outskirts of Nairobi.
Minister Saitoti worked closely with Defense Minister Haji in their joint
operation against Al Shabaab operating in Kenyan and southern Somalia.
As Defense Minister Haji has played an intricate role in the
battle against Al Shabaab named Linda Nchi, Swahili for ‘protect the country’. Earlier
this month he signed an agreement integrating Kenyan troops in Somalia, into
the African Union mission.
Minister Haji will hold both positions as Kenya’s battle against Al Shabaab in Somalia
Al Shabaab has threatened to commit attacks in Kenya if the government does not withdraw from Somalia, but the Kenya
government insists with support that the Al Shabaab will be defeated in a final
onslaught against Al Shabaab in southern Somalia, expected in August.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga told journalists last week, that military
assistance was needed but financial support from the US and EU would suffice for now.
"If they can
also bring military assistance so much the better, but for now we are talking
about financial assistance," he said.
The Prime Minister also discussed Kenya’s sluggish battle against Al
Shabaab who remain in control of Kismayo, one of the last remaining strongholds
for the terrorist organization.
"It has taken time because our forces felt that to move
in [Kismayo] otherwise would have cost a lot of lives, both civilian and military."
has reverted to strikes
from their warships and helicopters to weaken
Al Shabaab’s control on the port city.