|Written By:Diana Okemwa , Posted: Thu, Oct 20, 2011|
The al-Shabaab militia group is said to be forcefully recruiting civilians into their ranks after retreating following an operation from the Kenyan military to flush them out of their bases along the Kenyan border.
The Kenya Military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir says the militia group has shifted to Kismayu and smaller towns of lower Juba and shores of Somalia coastline as they escape the military bombardment away from the border of Kenya.
Speaking to KBC on phone, Chirchir said the towns along the border such as Bulahawa and Ras Kamboni have been secured and safe.
The Kenya army according Chirchir is now in control of three other towns in central Somalia and is closing into Kismayu which might fall anytime from now.
The operation in its fifth day is however being hampered by heavy rains pondering the area and the army is preparing a major ground offensive to flush out the militia from their hide outs.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka say the government will not relent in its efforts to protect Kenyan borders from external aggression.
The leaders who hailed the military operation in Somalia to flush out the Al-Shabaab militia assured Kenyans of their security following threats from the militia to carry out revenge attacks.
Speaking at this year’s Mashujaa celebrations at the Nyayo Stadium Thursday, the two said Kenya is a sovereign state and deserves respect from its neighbors.
At the same time, they hailed exceptional Kenyans who have fought in one way or another for the country.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga says that this year’s Mashujaa day is unique in that it’s being marked at a time when Kenyan security forces are engaged in active combat against Al shabaab terrorist group.
He said that nobody will be allowed to tamper with the security of this country, as Kenyans have a duty to protect it.
“We salute those brave men and women, united behind our national flag, who are putting their lives on the line so that your life and mine may be secure. Our prayers are with them, their families relatives and friends”, he said.
At the same time, the PM said that the government is doing everything possible to stabilize the economy and stop and reverse the free fall of the shilling to enable the currency regains its rightful value.
“The situation is not hopeless. As a nation, we can and we must win the wars and hungers we face.” He said.
He called on Kenyans to shun vices like mediocrity, tribalism but embrace unity to be able to tackle challenges facing the country.
“self seekers and ethnic bigots must be rejected and excommunicated in the hearts and minds of Kenyans. Let each one of us come forward to be his