Government warns Somalia's al Shabaab militia to keep off Kenya


By Cyrus Ombati

The Government has warned Somalia’s al Shabaab militia to keep off Kenya or face the full might of the country’s security machinery.

Internal Security PS Francis Kimemia termed as provocative an incident where the militiamen crossed into Kenya and attacked Liboi Police Station. And the Assistant Minister for Internal Security, Orwa Ojode, assured that security was tight and called on the public to report any suspicious activity to the police.

"Our border with Somalia is porous and that is why suspects are finding their way into the country; some with ulterior motives," said Ojode during a conference on disarmament at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha, yesterday.

The remarks came as the Lagdera DC was sent to Liboi to harmonise security operations following complaints that poor co-ordination was the cause of such surprise attacks.

"It has been discovered that these attacks are as a result of poor co-ordination and the DC has been asked to go and ensure things work as required," said a senior official.

Closed border

The PS said there are enough security personnel in the area to ensure the border is safe. He revealed that the Government had closed the main border as part of measures to address the militia menace.

In the incident that occurred on Wednesday at dawn, the attackers fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the police station, but no injuries were reported. Authorities in the area said police repulsed the attackers and chased them away.

Police recovered a grenade and several spent cartridges. The incident came days after a General Service Unit officer was shot and injured in the leg in a clash with the militia group.

The insurgents have threatened to strike Kenya with an assault similar to the twin suicide-bomb attack on the Ugandan capital, Kampala, last year that killed at least 74 people. One blast hit an Ethiopian restaurant while the other was detonated at a sports bar where residents were engrossed in the World Cup final.

Al Shabaab controls large swathes of central and southern Somalia, which has not had an effective central government since the 1991 after the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

— Additional reporting by ANTONY GITONGA