KENYA:Committee opposes KDF recall from Somalia

Committee opposes KDF recall from Somalia
Committee opposes KDF recall from Somalia

Nairobi, Kenya: The National Assembly’s Defence and Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday told the Jubilee administration not to withdraw Kenya’s forces from Somalia, despite mounting pressure from the opposition.

The vice-chairman of the committee, Barre Shill (Fafi) told a news conference at Parliament buildings that if the Jubilee Government got the Kenyan military out of the conflict-ridden Somalia, then Kenya will be seen to be “weak and cowardly”.

“We’re telling the Government of Kenya that they should never even dream of withdrawing the troops from Somalia,” said Shill.

Mr Shill was at the press conference with MPs John Lodepe (Turkana Central), Ibrahim Sane (Garsen) and Elisha Busienei (Turbo).

“If our troops are there (in Somalia) and they (Al-Shabaab) have been hitting us, what do you think will happen when they (Kenyan military) leave? We’ll look cowardly and vulnerable,” said Shill.
He added: “Some people think when we withdraw our troops from Somalia, Al Shabaab will sit back and say “Thank You Kenya!” No! They will not. This is an ideological war. “

Al Shabaab wants to instill fear in people so that you cannot go into the bus, into a mall or in the church. We cannot agree to that,” Shill said.

Shoddy Job

The lawmakers, whose committee investigated last year’s Westgate Mall terror attack, were at pains to explain why their report on Westgate – which had recommendations on how to tackle terror in the country – was thrown out because of what the National Assembly said was “a shoddy job”.

Lodepe added: “If we get our troops out of Somalia, it will show that we are going down as a country. It will show that we are weak. Tunataka wakae huko ndio dunia ijue Kenya iko imara (We want them to stay there so the world will know Kenya is strong).”

Shill, Sane, Busienei and Lodepe said the Judiciary should lock up all terror suspects, until they are sure beyond reasonable doubt “that these people are not involved in terrorism”.

Article 49 of the Constitution grants arrested persons the right “to be released on bond or bail, on reasonable conditions, pending a charge or trial, unless there are compelling reasons not to be released”.

The Judiciary, buoyed by provisions of the Constitution, has been releasing some of the terror suspects, if the prosecution fails to show why they should continue being held. The MPs, however, want every terror suspect to be locked up.

Source: The Stander

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