The government has ordered Kenyan security personnel to disable any boat that fails to stop for inspection in the Indian Ocean. Internal Security minister George Saitoti, who just returned from Manda and Lamu islands, said that boats from the Kenya Navy, administration and regular police and the Kenya Wildlife Service have gone to the area.
“Additional boats under the Kenya Navy have been deployed to boost security operations. All speedboats and merchant ships will have to be inspected by immigration officers and customs officials before entering Kenya. Any speedboats that are challenged in the sea and fail to stop will be dealt with by Kenyan security personnel,” Saitoti said.
Saitoti blamed al Shabaab for the kidnappings. Aerial and ground surveillance along the Kenya-Somalia border has been scaled up. Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere is at the coast meeting hoteliers to strategise on improved security. He is accompanied by senior tourism officials including Tourism minister Najib Balala. “This is the second incident to occur in the area within one month. This is a serious provocation on Kenya’s territorial integrity by Al Shabaab with negative effect on tourism.
Along the coast, security coverage has been reviewed by profiling all hotels, cottages, villas and private homes into clusters under the command of a senior police officer to enhance patrols and surveillance,” Saitoti said. “Every effort is being made to rescue the victim. In addition, the government would like to reassure Kenyan that adequate measures have been put in place. Kenya will not allow its tourism industry, investments and safety of its people to be endangered,” Saitoti said.
The minister reported that two attackers were killed during the shoot out along with two Kenya Navy officers who drowned when their boat capsized while pursuing the pirates. He revealed that some people in Kenya might have colluded with the kidnappers but said no one has been arrested in connection with the latest incident.