Written By:Judith Akolo/Carol Gakii,
Posted: Sun, Oct 16, 2011
The Kenyan army has now crossed more than 100km into Somalia in hot pursuit of the kidnappers of two Spanish aid workers from the Dadaab refugee camp.
This was after the government invoked Article 51 of the UN chapter that gives a country the go ahead to defend itself against any aggression in its territory.
Internal Security Minister George Saitoti has said that the article further gives a state the right to enter into a foreign country to prevent any such occurrence and that the action aims to push al-Shabaab military forces as far away from the border as possible.
Saitoti says Kenya has launched a spirited offensive on the Al Shabaab and will not relent until the country’s territorial boundary is secure.
Speaking while on a tour of Isiolo and Tigania East, Saitoti said by invoking article 51 of the UN Charter, Kenya has the backing of the UN Security Council to pursue the Al Shabaab into Somalia.
“We are on the trail of the Al Shabaab and we are going to extinguish the Al Shabaab militias that have visited suffering on innocent Kenyans and foreigners,” he said and added, “The Al Shabaab threat is very real and grave and it is undermining our national security as well as our economy.
The Internal Security Minister said the Al Shabaab militia has in the recent past abducted four foreigners from inside Kenya undermining the economy of the country, adding that the militias abducted two military personnel who since July have not been unaccounted for.
In Nairobi, former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo called on parents to protect their sons against conscription into the Al Shabaab.
“I am ready to join the fight in combat, I am training in gun handling and I am ready to go to the battle front when called up on,” said Ndolo and added, “Parents I am asking you not to allow your children to join the Al Shabaab a war they do not know about and they are dying in it in numbers.”
Planning Assistant Minister Peter Kenneth while urging the government to give the police maximum support to enable the force defend the country effectively, lauded security forces for their efforts in protecting the country against a multiplication of threats to security.
And in Mombasa, the General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa called on the international community to stop branding Kenya a risky tourist destination and instead assist the government in dealing with the Al Shabaab menace.
Khalifa said the Al Shabaab menace is a grave concern that the international community needs to help Kenyans deal with, instead of the rampant travel advisories they issue for their citizens wishing to travel to Kenya.
Saitoti at the same time while on a tour of Isiolo after a recent massacre in which seven people died following an attack by gun wielding people, sounded a warning to those hell bent on causing social disharmony in the country.
Security beefed up
Meanwhile, security agents are still combing Isiolo town and its environs in pursuit for the assailants who killed seven people in Tractor area in Ngaremara location.
Eastern Provincial Police Officer Marcus Ochola says so far no arrests have been made but assured the area residents that all efforts were being put in place to apprehend the culprits.
Speaking to KBC on phone, Ochola said residents who had fled their homes for fear of further attacks have begun to return back.
He said most of the villagers had sought refuge in schools and churches following the attack.
The PPO said security has been beefed up with score of security officers patrolling the area on a 24-hour basis.