North Eastern leaders threaten to take arms over attacks

Leaders from North Eastern region have issued a two-month ultimatum to the government to end escalating terror attacks in the region or they acquire guns to protect themselves from the Al-Shabaab militia.

Fafi MP Barre Shill warned the Jubilee government that communities will seek ways to protect themselves if the attacks continue.

“We are extremely worried by these events. Life in northern Kenya has come to a virtual standstill. We are tired of crying like babies and unless the government intervenes we shall be forced to buy guns from Somalia for personal protection,” Mr Shill said.

At least 16 people, including seven police officers have lost their lives in terror related attacks in the last one month.

Al-Shabaab militia have used improvised explosive devices to target motorists, including police vehicles.

TERROR

At news conference in Parliament Wednesday, Mr Shill and six other MPs warned the government lethargic response has emboldened the terrorists’ incursion and called for additional security personnel and armoured equipment to fight the rising tide of terror.

The MP spoke a day after Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery acknowledged the threat and told the National Security Committee of the National Assembly that additional resources had been availed to regional coordinator to facilitate the war against the militia.

“The region is fully covered. We have given the regional coordinator more resource to facilitate movement and communication to counter the threat posed by Al-Shabaab,” Mr Nkaissery said on Tuesday.

But on Wednesday, the MPs accused the CS of being untruthful and questioned the tactics employed by the government to fight the militia.

The MPs faulted the tactic where the government has resorted to pursue the attackers in vehicles while they escaped on foot saying this must change if the attacks must be halted.

KPR

They say the government must deploy the Kenya Police Reservists, who despite having knowledge of the terrain, are well versed with the tactics being used by the attackers.

“We must be told why the government is uncomfortable with deployment of KPR in Northern Kenya,” Mr Shill protested, noting that they have been deployed in Turkana, Lamu, Tana River and even Kitui counties.

“The government should tell us if it has no faith with the region so that it is reluctant to deploy KPR in the region,” he said.

Garissa Woman Representative Shukran Gure said the government should only deploy quality armoured vehicles that will make it easier for police to engage the terror group.

“Nkaissery is busy threatening politicians yet police officers are dying on duty because of the poor quality armoured vehicles. The government must protect the people in the region or they should instruct us to protect ourselves,” she said.

Other MPs at the press conference were Mohammed Dahir (Dadaab), Mohammed Shidiye (Lagdera) Abbas Sheikh Mohammed (Wajir East). The statement was signed by Senator Yusuf Haji and Ijara MP Ibrahim Abbas.

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