Kenya ‘enjoying freedom of action’ in Somalia

November 3, 2011 8:28 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – Kenya’s Department of Defence has said it is confident its troops ‘will enjoy freedom of action in Somalia for a long time’ because they have effectively suppressed Al Shabaab threats.

Army Spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir told Capital News in an interview that even if the Al Qaeda-linked militant group continued to arm itself, the war against them will not stop.

“Let them bring as much [arms] as they can and we are going to reduce them as much as we can,” Chirchir said.

He was confident the troops will dominate the war front despite massive armament sourced by Al Shabaab and delivered to them in Baidoa since Tuesday.

Two planeloads of weapons landed in Baidoa, Southern Somalia on Tuesday and the third was sighted on Wednesday, according to the army spokesman who has warned of imminent attacks deep inside the war torn country.

“We are going to enjoy freedom of action in Somalia for a long time. In these particular areas where our troops are we are going to enjoy freedom of action for a long time,” he boasted, citing minimal weapons in the hands of the enemy.

“Any threats that they might imagine to deliver to our troops, we are going to ensure we reduce it to a level that they won’t be able to function as a coherent force,” he said.

Citing intelligence reports on the ground, Chirchir said they were aware that Al Shabaab were running out of military hardware “and that is why they are flying in weapons.”

“Right now we know that Al Shabaab is running low in terms of military hardware. We have managed to considerably reduce their effectiveness so what they are doing now is trying to build up and in targeting these towns, we want to reduce their effectiveness completely,” he declared.

Eritrea has been accused of supplying arms by air and sea to the Al Qaeda-linked fighters, but Asmara flatly denies the claims.
On Tuesday, the army spokesman warned residents of at least 10 towns to beware of an imminent assault targeting Al Shabaab fighters hiding there.

“It is a warning we have issued because we intend to hit these targets. These are places we know there are Al Shabaab and it is the same areas where the arms have been dropped… we will continue tracking them,” he said.

Some of the areas include Baidoa, Baadheere, Baydhabo, Dinsur and Afgooye. Others are Bwale, Barawe and Jilib.

“The aforementioned towns will remain under imminent attack. Residents in the towns are advised to avoid contact with Al Shabaab militia,” Chirchir said in a statement and warned anyone with relatives in the areas to inform their people accordingly in a message posted on his personal Twitter page.


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