, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – President Mwai Kibaki on Monday vowed that Kenya will not relent in its fight against the Al Shabaab.
Speaking during celebrations to mark the 48th Jamhuri Day, President Kibaki said Kenya would remain committed to ensure the joint operation by Kenyan Defence Forces and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia forces wins peace and security in the region.
“Kenya stands ready to walk this journey with the people and government of Somalia that will see the dawn of a bright day of hope for them,” he stated.
Kibaki explained that Kenya through its operation Linda Nchi was targeting at bringing peace in Somalia since it was jointly an agreement between Kenya and Somalia which also has troops in the operation.
“It is, therefore, important for Kenyans, and indeed the international community to understand that Kenya is not at war with Somalia,” he asserted.
He urged Kenyans to continue supporting the operation by keeping the security agencies informed of any suspicious activities around them.
Kibaki appealed to the people of Somalia in their quest for stability for their country to take advantage of the operation and use it to benefit themselves.
“I also wish to appeal to all the people of Somalia to seize this historic opportunity to stabilise their country. It is time for them to reclaim their country and rejoin the family of nations. It is time to silence the cries of war and embrace the coming age of peace and prosperity in Somalia,” Kibaki said.
He regretted that many Somalis were living in difference countries due to the civil law that has suppressed development and democracy due to insecurity.
He insisted that it was important for the Somali people to reject those opposed to peace to secure a proper government for themselves.
“The people of Somalia scattered all over the world, must take a collective position and reject those behind the problems in their country. This is the time that the voice of the suffering millions of Somalia people was heard and respected,” he cited.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga who also addressed the nation during the celebrations as well called for support of the Kenyan troops in the operation.
Since the operation started about a month ago, Kenya has experienced several grenade attacks some of which have been linked to the Al Shabaab, the latest being on the day that Kenya marked her independence day.
A blast occurred on Monday afternoon in Wajir and left two people wounded, one of them seriously.
Reports from Wajir indicated that the blast occurred on a vehicle that was leaving the venue of the Jamhuri Day Celebrations in the town.
The incident came barely a day after an Administration Police officer was killed and two military soldiers wounded in two separate attacks which occurred in Mandera and Wajir on Sunday afternoon.
The first incident which occurred about one kilometre from Mandera town involved an attack on Administration Police officers while the second in Wajir involved military officers.
Kenyan security personnel patrolling the Somalia border have been hit with a series of explosion attacks since Kenya sent its troops to fight Al Shabaab inside Somalia, often killing or injuring officers.
Security forces at the border points are grappling with threats posed by the insurgents who have been laying landmines mainly targeting police and soldiers patrolling the Somalia border.
Kenyan officials have blamed the hard-line Al Shabaab or their sympathisers for spate of recent shootings and bombings, although armed bandits also operate in the border areas.