, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17 – Kenya has vowed that its military operation against Somalia’s Al Shabaab militants will be sustained.
Defence Minister Yusuf Haji told a Parliamentary Committee on Monday that “Operation Linda Nchi” was necessary to deter the Al Qaeda-linked militants from further attacks on Kenyan soil.
“The Kenya government is taking robust measures to protect and preserve the integrity of the country by invoking Article 51 of the UN Charter,” he said
“Under Article 51 you have the right to pursue the enemy through hot pursuit and try to reach them wherever he is,” Haji told the Parliamentary Committee on Defence.
He outlined various cases that justified military action against the group which includes abducting and killing of Kenyan army officers in Northern Kenya.
Appearing before the same committee, Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said the government would provide security escorts to foreigners and aid workers.
He said the government had beefed security especially in Northern Kenya and the coastal region.
“Security officers have been instructed to offer security escort to foreigners working in NGOs in the affected areas in the North Eastern and the Upper coast region of Hola, Tana River and Lamu.”
Saitoti said the Kenyan military and the police would work jointly to ensure security of Kenyans and visitors in the country following a series of abductions by militias from Somalia.
As he spoke, Kenyan forces were digging up trenches in the village of Qoqani, 100km inside Somalia in preparation for battle with militants who were massing up around the area.