Written By:Judith Akolo, Posted: Sat, Oct 15, 2011
Kenya has vowed to protect its territorial integrity from foreign aggression with the government vowing to invoke Article 51 of the United Nations Charter that allows a country under aggression to pursue its aggressors beyond its territorial boundary.
Article 51 provides for the right of countries to engage in self-defense, including collective self-defense, against an armed attack.
Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti and his Defense counterpart, Yussuf Haji who addressed a news conference at Harambee House said Kenya’s integrity is at stake and must be protected from external aggression of the Al Shabaab.
“The Kenya government is taking robust measures to protect and preserve the integrity of the country by invoking Article 51 of the UN Charter,” said Saitoti.
“Under Article 51 you have the right to pursue that enemy through hot pursuit and try to reach them wherever he is,” added Minister for Defense, Yussuf Haji.
Saitoti in what fell short of declaring an all out war against Somalia, announced the closure of the Kenya/Somalia boarder and asked the international community to play their part and ensure there is stability in Somalia.
“First and foremost we have now closed the border with Somalia,” said Saitoti and added, “We have no apologies to make as far as that is concerned, we want the international community to be involved in ensuring first and foremost that there is stability in Somalia as that these people can be taken back and be taken care of in Somalia.”
In a strong worded statement , the two ministers blamed the international community of protecting refugees at the expense of the safety and security of Kenyans and at the same time announced the government has began re-screening refugees at the Dadaab refugee camp to flush out those suspected to be hiding among bona fide refugees and causing disharmony in the country.
The Minister for Internal Security appealed to Kenyans to join security forces by identifying those suspected to be Al Shabaab by informing security personnel in good time.
“Kenya is threatened with the most serious forms of terrorism and the public must join in the fight against this aggression by working hand in hand with security forces through information sharing on were the enemy could be hiding,” said Saitoti.
Defense Minister Yusuf Haji blamed the two volunteers of from the Medicin sans Frontiers of refusing armed escort insisting that there regulations do not allow them to be escorted by armed personnel hence they ended up endangering their lives through the recent abduction.
“They were travelling in a private vehicle without armed escort, they exposed themselves to the enemy,” said Haji.
Past instances of aggression by the Al Shabaab have been:- 2009 Abduction of Catholic nuns in Elwak, 2009 Attack on Dadajabula Police Post, 2010: Attack on the GSU Camp in Liboi, 2011 July Two Military personnel abducted 2011 July: Laying of land mines in Mandera town targeting security personnel, 2011 Sept: Al Shabaab attacks along Kenya Somali border, 2011 Al Shabaab recruitment of Kenyan youth as militias, 2011 British, French and Spanish Nationals kidnapped in Lamu and Dadaab.