Dadaab refugees back Kenya offensive in Somalia

November 8, 2011 2:58 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 8 – Refugees at Dadaab held a massive demonstration on Tuesday to protest rising cases of insecurity in the camp and to declare their support to law enforcement agencies.

The refugees carried twigs and placards saying they would not support criminal activities in the camps and vowed to point out any criminal in their midst.

The peaceful demonstration was organised in the wake of a massive security operation launched by law enforcement agencies to root out criminal gangs from the camp as well as seize weapons in illegal hands.

The refugees, who are mainly from Somalia, also declared their support to Kenya’s military intervention in their home country in Somalia where Kenyan soldiers have pitched tent for the last three weeks in pursuit of the Al Shabaab militants.

Kenya sent its troops into Somalia three weeks ago to pursue Al Shabaab militants it blames for kidnapping four foreign women as well as two Kenyan soldiers from its soil.

One of the women Marie Dedieu of French origin captured from her beach house in Lamu died in the hands of the Al Shabaab in the war torn country and her captors have been demanding for cash for them to release her body.

The three others, a Briton and two Spaniards seized from Lamu and Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya are still in captivity in Somalia.

So far, Kenyan forces pursuing the militants in Southern Somalia have killed more than 50 of them and are still hunting down for more as they move deep into the wartorn country to seize more towns.

A witness at the camp told Capital News that the refugees were also carrying placards saying they “are happy with the military intervention in our country because it will enable us go back home.”

Police did not intervene to disperse the demonstrators and instead escorted them until the demonstration ended at about 2pm.

Area Provincial Commissioner Joseph ole Serian has previously told Capital News security would be intensified at the camps as police search for illegal weapons.

“We will continue these security measures, particularly now that there are serious threats of Al Shabaab, we recently recovered guns from the camp in an operation carried out by Administration Police officers,” he said.

On Sunday last week, an Alien and a refugee were arrested at the Dadaab camp with four AK 47 rifles and 477 bullets in a sting operation carried out by police officers to rid the camp of arms and other dangerous weapons.

Serian said the suspects were arrested following a tip off that led to a sting operation carried out by Administration Police officers.

“We have arrested an alien and a refugee at the camp. They had four firearms which they wanted to sell to our officers who laid a trap on them and duped them that they were potential buyers,” Serian told Capital News at the time.

“They had four AK 47 rifles, 16 magazines and 477 ammunitions,” he added and identified the suspects as Adan Abdullahi 37, a refugee and Adan Abdi Mohammed 32 an alien who had no papers.

“We will continue with our operation to get all illegal firearms in the camps,” he said.

The suspects were arrested when the AP’s posed as potential customers who wanted to buy the firearms and offered the suspects part payment of 15,000 shillings on Saturday and were to finalize the payments on Sunday when the arms were to be delivered.

Serian said when the suspects were arrested as they went to collect the remaining balance and led the officers to areas where they had hidden the arms underground within the camp.

He says the suspects are being held at the Dadaab police station waiting to be resigned in court tomorrow.

Security forces are undertaking a major security operation in the camps to rid the area of dangerous weapons following the kidnapping of two Spanish women who were seized by Al Shabaab militants who also shot and wounded their driver.


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