President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday directed security agents to firmly confront the al Shabaab militants hiding in Boni forest with a view to ending ongoing attacks in Lamu.
The President declared a major security operation in Boni forest to wipe out al Shabaab elements and ordered that the militants be dealt with ruthlessly.
Uhuru also asked families living in the forest to move out immediately so as not to be caught up in the pacification operation. Speaking during campaign rallies in Kizingitini and Mpeketoni area of the insecurity ravaged Lamu county, Uhuru said the terrorists should be dealt with in similar manner they were killing Kenyans.
“Fire must be met with fire, no one has the right to take away the life of any other person, I have no apologies to make in taking the tough measures we are taking,” he said. The President said he had given directives for security forces to rout the terrorists from wherever they may be hiding.
“Our citizens are losing their lives. Our security forces are losing their lives. My Principal secretary was wounded here a few days ago, we have to deal with these terror mongers,” the President told a rally in Kizingitini.
He was referring to Public Works Principal secretary Mariam El Maawy, who was abducted, shot and injured by terrorists in an incident where five people were killed. She was rescued in a rapid operation mounted by KDF soldiers and General Service Unit officers.
Security sources now believe that El Maawy could have been targeted for issuing title deeds to locals in Boni area. Yesterday, the President said he was certain the militants who have in the last one month killed about 13 people including police and civilians will be found and dealt with without mercy. “When we get them, we will not jail but bury them and I have no apology over this,” said Uhuru.
He also cautioned residents against hiding the militants saying those found to be collaborating with them will only have themselves to blame. While noting that every Kenyan has a right to live and do business anywhere in Kenya, the President said: “Kenyans should be free to walk unhindered day and night and their properties protected.
I am just asking you to help in the fight by providing information that could help track them,” he said. Speaking in Garsen, Uhuru said the government will continue enhancing development efforts in Tana River county.
“This is about getting more jobs for our young people. It is about improving security and entrenching peace,” the President said. He said a project to supply water for irrigation through a mechanism that uses gravity is now complete and would supply the commodity at a cheap cost.
Deputy President William Ruto said the government has worked hard to develop the whole of Kenya, noting every region has benefited from infrastructural development.
He said advanced medical care, which residents previously sought in Mombasa or Nairobi, are now available in Hola and Garsen, thanks to the Managed Equipment Services.