, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Following the killing of 28 on a bus bound for Nairobi in Mandera, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has announced that all Public Service Vehicles plying that route will do so under armed escort.
He said a joint security operation had also been mounted with the Kenya Defence Forces and intelligence officers to bring those behind the killings to book despite crossing the border into Somalia.
Additional security personnel, he said, would also be deployed to the area to ward off a repeat attack.
“Textbook reactions, ” Mandera Governor Ali Roba said, that come a little too late for the 28 who lost their lives on Saturday morning when armed men waylaid the bus they were travelling on, reportedly separated those they believed to the heathen from Muslims and killed them.
Especially when, Roba explained later on Saturday, he had warned the local police of increased terror activity along the border. Roba himself having survived an IED explosion in October.
But Kimaiyo defended himself against the accusation that he was acting a little too late; denying that he had received any warnings from Roba.
He said the incident was, “isolated,” as his men had thwarted many more terror attacks and it was the reason he was again extending the curfew in Lamu to Christmas Eve.
“This is a situation that we must bring under control and the curfew is therefore one of the strategies we are using to minimise the operations of these elements and eventually net them,” he said.
The curfew would however, he said, be temporarily lifted on Lamu Island between November 27 and 30 to allow for Maulid celebrations.
Fishermen, he said, would also be allowed to operate at night provided they obtain a permit from the Lamu County Commander.
The threat by the Law Society of Kenya to take him to court if he didn’t lift the curfew, he said, did little to faze him as security trumps economic constraints. “We all want our tourism sector to recover but we must assure them of safety first.”
He also denied infringing on the religious rights of Muslims by closing four mosques in Mombasa. He said the mosques were only being treated as crime scenes and would reopen to the public once their processing was complete.
But despite his claim that they were in agreement with Muslim leaders, SUPKEM on Saturday demanded that the mosques be immediately reopen, adding their voice to that of political and human rights leaders in Mombasa.