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We must work harder to snuff out Shabaab

By Standard Team | Dec 24th 2015 | 2 min read

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery says security agencies have foiled "hundreds" of attacks planned by the dreaded Al Shabaab militants.

While many may quickly dismiss this pronouncement as just another Government self-aggrandising propaganda, it is good to give credit where it's due.

Although the worst terror attack in Kenya - on Garissa University College - happened during Nkaissery's tenure, something seems to have changed for the better in the docket he runs, giving the war against terror some modicum of momentum.

In retrospect, terrorist attacks have been fewer lately. But that doesn't mean that we are out of the woods.

There have been several attacks targeting security personnel, some of them fatal, especially in Lamu and North Eastern region. And only last Monday, terrorists attacked a bus in Mandera, killing one person. The day before, a bomb was found in a packed church in Kirinyaga and catastrophe averted just on time.

Worryingly, security agencies have warned that some 11 terrorists have crossed into the country from Somalia, raring to spill blood during the festive season.

The truth is, despite assurances by Nkaissery that police are on top of things, the war against terrorism is far from being won. There are those who argue that withdrawing the Kenyan military from Somalia would make Kenya safe. That view may have merit, but pulling KDF out of Somalia could also have the opposite effect. Needless to say, Al Shabaab militants started attacking us even before our soldiers went into Somalia, where they have made a major milestone by loosening the grip the militants had on large swathes of the war-torn country. Withdrawing KDF may actually embolden the militants, who may quickly rush in to fill the vacuum. They still have a bone to pick with us, and may want to hit us harder especially now.

The only assurance we can have of peace today and in the future is for security agencies to step up the war against Al Shabaab at home and in Somalia.

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