NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 11 – Kenya’s top security bosses are in Lamu to launch the Boni forest security operation to flush out Al Shabaab militants.
They include Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, military chief Samson Mwathethe and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet.
They are formally launching the security operation after Boinnet ordered residents out of the forest last Friday, declaring it a dangerous and troubled area.
Residents have been streaming out of the forest since Saturday with many of them relocating to nearby regions and the main town of Lamu.
It is understood that some of the people have surrendered arms following Boinnet’s order, but no official information has been made public from police headquarters.
Police believe the forest is an Al Shabaab hideout, after several attacks on security forces, nearby villages and Public Service Vehicles.
The militants have also continuously used the forest to launch attacks within soft areas of the coastal town of Lamu County.
“Upon publication of this notice, all inhabitants are ordered to surrender all arms and ammunition in their possession whether legal or otherwise with immediate effect to the nearest station or administrative office during the hours of the day for safe custody,” read the gazette notice by Inspector General of Police Boinnet on September 4.
Mpeketoni area of Lamu County has seen property and hundreds of lives lost following Al-Shabaab attacks, a move that prompted the government to issues a 6pm to 6am curfew.
The curfew has since been lifted after security improved.
This is part of the government wider plan to secure the country from the terrorism.
Other than negatively affecting the tourism sector in the country following travel advisories that had been issued, terror attacks have claimed hundreds of lives.