Dealing with the Al Shabaab Menace
By -Peter Nguli
| November 22nd 2012
By Peter Nguli
There is no middle path here –anyone who thinks Al Shabaab terrorists are going to send Kenyans Christmas presents through Santa Clause need to think again.
We hit them hard in Somalia, they hurl grenades at us, and then a temporary one week of 'cease-fire', followed by “showers” – of bullets in churches and isolated incidents of attacks on our security forces along the way. Life under a rain of death is no life at all, and we cannot allow ourselves to become resigned to it.
A strong opening, like invading Somalia, isn’t enough, you also have to know how to finish – and finish decisively. If it isn’t clear whether the ball crossed the goal-line or not, the goal isn’t decisive. The ball needs to hit the net, visible to all.
To accomplish this, you need to achieve what the other side can’t bear, can’t live with, and our capture of Kismayu and other Somalian enclaves isn’t enough yet.
We need to hit these terrorists where it hurts most: by reporting them to authorities and by police using maximum force on the spot, not taking them to courts where they will be released on bond only to kill more innocent civilians in few days ahead.
After all, if the terrorists are killing us, why should police spare them? Again, Kenyans can stage a very clever peaceful protest; of boycotting any businesses or shops in neighbourhoods associated with harbouring terrorist activities.
As it is towards Christmas, ignoring these businesses will make the groups lose millions of money which would otherwise have been used to fund terrorist activities. The government too, should identify and freeze the bank accounts of those suspected to be involved in financing acts of terrorism. These would further squeeze the grenade-throwers to the core.
The desire to prevent what Kenyan human rights groups call 'excessive use of force' against criminals and terrorists will ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent Kenyans: the true residents of this beautiful and great nation of Kenya, always referred to as an island of peace, progress and tranquility and gobally known as the East Africa's economic powerhouse.
Unfortunately, some of the residents of Kenya are not innocent either, they harbour terrorists instead of reporting them to authorities. We are not only citizens, we are also our own policemen. No wonder some irritated wananchi in Eastleigh were up in arms accusing a certain community of harbouring terrorists who kill us on a weekly basis, even though these people pretend to be friendly and caring.
While its wrong to label a whole community with such generalization, there is a point at the end of the line. For despite our welcoming nature to accomodate Somali refugees, they have come heavily armed with grenades, explosives and guns to attack us at will without restraint. As the Swahili saying goes, 'Asante ya punda ni mateke'.
Why do our citizens have to live in fear? Yet we have spent our resources, time and energy trying to help and stabilise Somalia for over a year? Victory against terrorism is not yet but its not too far either. But we’re running out of time – we must achieve victory quickly against these terrorists.
Victory against these hooligans will never be confirmed until Kenyans live in peace without fear of grenades and bombs. These grenade and bomb attacks need to end quickly. To achieve this, our security agencies and military operatives need not care about what the so-called human rights organizations will say.
After all, when policemen and soldiers are killed the KNHRC never utters a word. In contrary, when criminals and terrorists are killed they are quick to condemn the police in the name of so called human rights and 'excessive force'. One wonders whether police and soldiers do not have human rights.
Democracy is good but at times, too much democracy is dangerous. There is no democracy at all in protecting terrorists and criminals in the name of human rights.. At this age of mobile phone technology, our citizenry need to report any suspicious terrorist activity to the authorities at the touch of 999.
Recently, when over 40 police officers where killed in Baragoi's Suguta 'Valley of Death', the NSC rightly authorized the deployment of KDF in the area in order to restore peace. Astonishngly, some naive MPs from whatever Stone Age part of the world are complaining.
What would one expect the government to do in such serious circumstances? There is need for intelligence agencies to investigate if the current state of insecurity is a stage-managed manouvre by some politicinas to gain votes and political mileage. If true, the politicians must be dealt with legally as political criminals in the strict sense of the word.
Kenyans need peace, love and unity not incitement whatever religion they belong to. Kenyan Muslims and Christians have always lived in peace for centuries and no terrorists should be allowed to wedge a chisel between them and ignite religious war. For insecurity and terrorism to end in our country, a decisive action is necessary, now not tomorrow.
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