Kenya’s top security team meets over Somalia

November 8, 2011 8:16 am


The Kenyan Coat of Arms
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 7 – The government’s highest decision-making organ on security matters met at the Office of the President on Monday and reviewed the progress of the military intervention in Somalia.

The meeting at Harambee House was chaired by President Mwai Kibaki and attended by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi, Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti, Intelligence chief Michael Gichangi and the Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula.

Sources at Harambee House said Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere was also present at the high level security meeting.

Details of what was discussed at the meeting remain scanty but our sources said it mainly centered on mechanisms of dealing with Al Shabaab militants and their local sympathisers in the country.

The meeting known as the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) is one of high level government structures which draws membership from various ministries responsible with security-related matters in the country.

It holds talks every first Tuesday of the month unless there are urgent security matters to be discussed such as the Somalia intervention.

Kenya sent its troops to 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 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.

On Monday, military Spokesman Maj Emmanuel Chirchir said Al Shabaab had resorted to spreading propaganda in the media, often claiming that they have killed Kenyan soldiers.

“The continued false reporting by Press TV and other like minded media is un- acceptable and should not be taken as factual information and events,” he said in a statement dismissing reports that 15 Kenyan soldiers had been killed.

Locally, police in Garissa said they had arrested a man who was found with two grenades in a bus that was headed to Nairobi.

The man was arrested at a road block on Monday afternoon during a random check on a bus that was headed to Nairobi, according to police.

The suspect was being detained at a local police station in Northern Kenya as investigations as police investigate the source of the deadly devices.

On Saturday night, an explosive device was detonated in a church, killing two people in what police have blamed on Al Shabaab militants.

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