, LAMU, Kenya, Jul 17 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to hunt down and wipe out terrorists causing havoc in Lamu as security agencies continue with a major operation in the coastal county.
The Head of State who spoke at Mpeketoni on Monday said the government will not be kind to any terrorist it apprehends saying the injustices meted on innocent civilians in the recent spate of attacks will be recompensed.
“If anyone has devoted himself to come and disrupt lives and chop off heads of innocent people and kill our security officers, why should I be kind to them? I will also wipe them out,” President Kenyatta warned during a campaign rally.
“I have no apologies to make – none whatsoever. Nobody has the right to take the life of another. No one can make themselves god over others,” he stated.
He urged locals to move to secure areas where they can be accorded State security as security agencies pursue members of the Al Shabaab terror group hiding in Boni forest.
“Please be steadfast on matters security. Those of you living in far flung areas please come to areas where we’re going to protect you so that we can deal with these fellows (terrorists),” he told a crowd of supporters.
Kenyatta’s warning comes hot on the heels of repeated attacks on civilians by Al Shabaab militants believed to be hiding in the Boni National Reserve, a massive forest bordering Somalia.
A week ago, members of the terror group abducted Principal Secretary in the State Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mariam El Maawy, who was rescued by security officers drawn from the military 45 minutes later.
PS El Maawy’s convoy was attacked shortly after she attended a function in Mkunguni where together with Lamu Governor Issa Timamy and county lands executive Amina Rashid launched a spatial plan for the county.
Arif Kassim Athman, a nephew of the Principal Secretary, died alongside three police officers after being trapped in a vehicle that blew up and burnt beyond recognition.
Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa after meeting security chiefs last week told the media that a multi-agency operation was ongoing in Lamu, affirming the government’s position to weed out terror elements in the region.
“As we speak, air strikes are ongoing. Boni belongs to Kenya and Al-Shabaab must know we will secure it whatever it takes,” he said at the Kenya School of Government, Mombasa.
A police Land Cruiser seized Wednesday last week during an attack on Pandangua Police Post was also recovered in the ongoing operation, Friday.
Prior to the attack, nine people were killed, “some shot and others hacked” by terrorists in Jima and Pandagua villages on July 8.
During his campaign, the president also assured Lamu residents of his administration’s commitment to develop the county citing the ongoing construction of the Lamu port which is set to be concluded March, 2018.
President Kenyatta noted that the region has benefited from a significant number of development projects executed by the Jubilee government compared to past regimes.
“We have delivered a new port notwithstanding the fact that we have not been in government for as long as our opponents have,” he said.