Kenya will not be intimidated by terrorists and will not withdraw troops from Somalia, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
“We will not withdraw until Somalia has a stable and secure government free from terror. The Government will not allow terrorists to dictate or blackmail us into changing our local or foreign policy,” Mr Ruto said on Monday.
The Deputy President said recalling Kenyan troops will provide a safe haven for criminals to recruit and arm terrorists in Somalia who will eventually pose an even greater risk to Kenya and the region.
“Because of the remarkable success of our effort in Somalia, al Shabaa operational bases have been substantially weakened,” he said.
According to the Deputy President, Al-Shabaab are unable to confront the country’s security agencies directly and have resorted to soft targets to pressure Kenya into relenting and withdrawing from Somalia.
“The Kenya Defence Forces was deployed into Somalia to dismantle Al Shabaab operations, networks, training and indoctrination bases, which posed grave danger to Kenya and the region.
“But the singular fact that cannot be denied is that our troops in Somalia have greatly destabilised Al Shabaab’s operations and created relative peace and security in that country,” Mr Ruto added.
He was speaking during a Press conference at his office on Harambee Avenue in Nairobi on Monday.
The Deputy President also urged the Judiciary to be firm in the war against terrorism.
He said records indicate that many terror suspects have absconded bail and put themselves beyond the reach of law enforcement.
Some of the suspects named are Fuad Abubakar Maswab, who is believed to have fled to Somalia whilst out on a Sh10 million bond and his co-accused Jermaine John Grant who had been arrested while in possession of explosives.
Mr Ruto also noted that two other suspects Jamal Mohamed Awadh and Suleiman Mohammed Sayyed were similarly on bond and their families confirmed that they both died on May 3, 2014, while executing a bomb attack in Mombasa.
“Those who have fled to Somalia intend to continue their terror activities. While they are abroad, the cases against them cannot proceed, seriously impairing the quest for justice and law enforcement,” he said.
At least 22 people are said to be terrorism suspects out on bond operating freely among the innocent and peaceful citizens.
Mr Ruto warned that the Government is aware of the existence a local network of sympathisers and facilitators residing among the general population and just like terrorists, they will face consequences.
The National Security Intelligence, National Police Service and Criminal Investigations Department were noted as a coherent, indivisible operation and Mr Ruto said said because of this synergy, innumerable criminal activities—including planned terror attacks— have been disrupted.
“Our collective security is a shared responsibility; every person must play his or her part in maintaining unwavering vigilance. All arms of Government must play their full part, and every citizen must also fulfill their patriotic obligations, ” Mr Ruto said.
He reiterated the need for Kenyans to take a keen interest in what is going on around them, and be ready to provide information to security agencies on suspicious activities.
Source: Daily Nation