, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 2 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has again reiterated Kenya’s commitment to defeating the Al Shabaab within Somalia.
In response to the Al Shabaab massacre of 36 Kenyans in the border county of Mandera on Tuesday morning, President Kenyatta said the act of terror would only serve to embolden Kenya’s military efforts in the war torn country.
“Terrorists have retaliated viciously to deter us from our effort to rid the Horn of Africa of violent extremism. We will not flinch in the war against terrorism. We shall continue to inflict painful casualties on these terrorists until we secure our country and region. Our stability and prosperity depends on a secure neighbourhood. This is our commitment,” he stated on Tuesday afternoon.
A statement of commitment that followed renewed calls for the withdrawal of Kenyan troops in Somalia by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD).
“Now all of us with the wisdom of hindsight will agree with that position,” former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who was in office when Kenyan boots hit Somalia soil, said on Tuesday.
But President Kenyatta made it clear on Tuesday that Kenya was at war and there were only two sides to the war – for or against Kenya.
“A time has come for each and every one of us to decide and choose,” he said.
He also said that while the recent spate of attacks had been a setback, the mission in Somali was largely a success.
“Al Shabaab is depleted and on the retreat. However, even in its diminished state, it remains a threat to our nation. In desperation, it formally affiliated itself in 2012 to Al Qaeda, the international terrorist group,” he said.
It is the same position President Kenyatta took following the Westgate attack last year insisting that the military withdrawal the Al Shabaab sought to coerce through attacks on Kenya would come to naught.
He did acknowledge however that there were, “some weaknesses in our security architecture.”
An acknowledgement that was followed by his acceptance of the Inspector General of Police’s retirement and a decision to replace the Interior Cabinet Secretary.