Kenya steps up measures against Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia

Major F.A Ndeke from the Kenya Defence Forces takes Inspector General Joseph Boinnet (left) on a tour of the construction of the security perimeter along the Kenya-Somalia border on January 25, 2017. [Courtesy]

NAIROBI, Kenya - Kenya has stepped up surveillance measures alomg the border to block Al-Shabaab militants from crossing over amid ongoing crackdown against the militants who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia, in a strategy aimed at preventing escalation of attacks in the country.

Kithure Kindiki, who is the Interior Cabinet Secretary, said the ongoing crackdown against Al-Shabaab could trigger them to cross over to the country and probably cause mayhem. Somalia has been pursuing the militants in all fronts for the last seven months, killing hundreds in the process.

The Interior CS stated that they have stepped up our border patrols to prevent the proliferation of illicit arms, illicit drugs.

“Our security agencies are alert to ensure that these militants do not cross into our territory to keep them at bay now that this terror group is its weakest,” he said.

The minister, who visited Mandera County and other surrounding areas, noted that intelligence services are cooperating well in the fight against the militants. He said Kenya is ready to work closely with Somalia to defeat the militants.

“We are always aware that terrorists only need one lucky break to hurt our Country and inflict us with pain. We must always strike first and fast to neutralise them and obliterate their nefarious networks,” he said.

Kindiki said security teams have managed to neutralize many terror attacks in northeastern Kenya, adding that several weapons have also been destroyed in the process. He also said since William Ruto took over, crime rates in the country has reduced by 13.5 percent.

“Urban crime, especially the Nairobi muggings that had threatened to disrupt life and businesses in our capital city in the September/October season, has now been contained,” he said.

Kenya has deployed elite forces along the border with Somalia with the Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] leading the team. In Somalia, there are 3,500 KDF soldiers serving in the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] who are expected to hand over security responsibilities to Somali National Army [SNA] in coming months.


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