Kenya tells Al Shabab to keep off

July 13, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – Kenya has warned Somalia’s Al Shabab militia that it will “not sit back and wait” for them to attack the country as it did in Uganda last Sunday.

Speaking in response to the terror attacks in Kampala which left 74 people dead and almost 100 injured, Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula said “we will be ready and available to repulse any threats to the security and tranquility of this county.”

“This government and the people of Kenya will neither fear to act or act in fear in fighting against terrorism,” the Foreign Minister told Parliament. “The Ministries of Defence and Internal Security are working very harmoniously with my ministry to secure our borders.”

Mr Wetangula confirmed that one Kenyan identified as Alice Mueni was injured in the Kampala blasts. 

Members of Parliament however expressed concerns over the government’s preparedness to secure the country in the face of attacks.

“How prepared is the Anti Terrorism Police Unit given the recent discoveries of a cache of arms and detonators in the country?” posed Garsen MP Danson Mungatana.

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale inquired: “Given that there are many Somali nationals in this country what is the government doing to ensure we are on top of things?”

The Al Shabab has in the past threatened to attack Kenya for its continued support of the Transitional Federal Government and the peace process. Also on the attack list is Burundi which, together with Uganda, has troops in the African Union force.

“Our Anti Terrorism Police are on high alert,” said Internal Security Minister George Saitoti adding that “we will ensure that Kenyans are safe.”

After the Sunday attacks, truckloads of military personnel and the police continued to patrol the 682-km border that stretches from Liboi at the Coast and more were reported to be on their way to Mandera in the North, with strict checks on aliens and Kenyans traversing the two countries.

Two weeks ago, President Mwai Kibaki sought to assure Kenyans that the government was deploying adequate security personnel along the country\’s border with Somalia to deal with the insecurity posed by the instability in the neighbouring country.

In November last year a Kenyan driver and two Italian nuns were abducted by Somali militants. They were later released after negotiations.

In March last year, five Kenyan education officials were abducted by Al Shabab militiamen in Mandera. The five had crossed the border from Mandera town to go to the border village of Bula Hawa inside Somalia for shopping.

They were eventually released after negotiations by clan elders.


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