, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 -Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) have warned elements of the Al Shabaab in Somalia to defect; surrender or leave Somalia as they have limited options.
Colonel Cyrus Oguna in charge of information and operation at the Department of Defense said during a weekly briefing on the operation that the KDF together with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces had destroyed many of the camps and weapons used by the Al Shabaab.
Col Oguna also said the Al Shabaab were withdrawing from their previous strongholds while some of their leaders have defected from the terrorist outfit.
Oguna said: “The Al Shabaab only has the three options; their resistance is crumbling their logistics are getting disabled day by day. They are still capable of carrying out minor incursions but that we will ably handle.”
He claimed that a senior Al Shabaab leader, whom he did not name for security reasons, had already defected and was undergoing interrogation from the defense forces.
He declared that the KDF had already achieved its initial objectives in its war against the Somali based militia and exuded confidence that they would emerge victorious.
“Every operation has got objectives and phase lines according to us we have achieved our initial goals in terms of a certain the phase line and we are happy with that,” the colonel said emphatically.
He further said that the KDF forces had adequately dealt with the change of tact by the Al Shabaab by using the local Somalis to get information about the militia men.
“The challenge that people thought we would encounter with Al Shabaab using donkeys and travelling in small concentrations has been found in the acceptance we got from the Somali people,” Oguna further said.
However, Oguna also warned the people in the Diaspora whom he said were funding the Al Shabaab to stop saying the terror group did not have any noble interests.
Their lack on good interests coupled with the desperation was manifested in their decision to ban aid organisations from continuing with humanitarian efforts.
Oguna however assured these organisations that the KDF would provide security for them to continue with operations in areas that have already been liberated.
“We are telling the local Somali that they should not be intimidated by the Al Shabaab because they can see what is happening in areas where the Al Shabaab has been evicted from; Al Shabaab is like a rogue baby elephant that has been tramping on the locals,” added Oguna saying that normalcy was returning to such areas.
In the last few weeks, the troops have been engaged in pacification and humanitarian efforts that Oguna said had helped expand the liberated territory as well as increase cooperation from the locals.
Police spokesman Erick Kiraithe who also spoke at the briefing held at Police headquarters said that they had intensified efforts to ensure that the remnants of the now ‘scattered’ Al Shabaab do not end up in Kenya
Kiraithe confirmed that investigations into the recent attacks in Garissa and Mandera were at an advanced stage and the culprits who he said were ‘local criminals’ would be brought to account.
He called on Kenyans to continue being extra vigilant during the festive season.