- Twaha said he was disappointed with some western countries, accusing them of rushing to issue issuing travel restrictions on their citizens whenever there are terror incidents in Lamu.
Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha on Friday downplayed terror attacks and instead wooed investors to the region, saying recent al Shabaab raids were isolated.
He said the region was safe for investment despite recent terror attacks.
On January 2, three people were killed after a convoy of buses travelling from Mombasa to Lamu was attacked by al Shabaab militants at Nyongoro area in Witu in Lamu West. Four militants were gunned down and one arrested.
Two days later, al Shabaab attacked the Manda-Magogoni naval base in Manda Bay that also houses a US military camp at dawn.
Three people, including a US service member and two US Department of Defence contractors, were killed. Five attackers were killed and five others arrested.
The attacks have created fear and prompted negative publicity of the region among locals and outsiders.
Speaking during a joint press briefing with county commissioner Irungu Macharia, Twaha said the attacks were isolated incidents and that it was unfair to paint a blanket opinion of the entire region.
The two urged investors to ignore the negativity and misleading rumours and instead turn up and invest in Lamu.
Macharia said security has been strengthened with hundreds of officers deployed all across the county.
They said the county was safe for business and trade.
Twaha said he was disappointed with some western countries, accusing them of rushing to issue issuing travel restrictions on their citizens whenever there are terror incidents in Lamu.
The governor said terrorism remains a global threat that requires concerted efforts to defeat.
“Our county has never been safer and the unfortunate incidents shouldn’t make people paint us in a bad light. Unfortunately, the recent attack on the navy base was actually between al Shabaab and the US and it’s just unfortunate that it took place on Lamu soil. Investors have no reason to fear because Lamu is safe,” Twaha said.
“I believe there is a lot more we can do as countries affected by terrorism instead of imposing travel restrictions which in the end cripple crucial sectors of the said countries. Lamu aside, the likes of US, UK, New York, Paris and France have all been victims of even bigger acts of terrorism. Let’s move together and win.”
Macharia assured locals and visitors that the government had put in place elaborate measures to strengthen security.
Macharia reiterated that the Linda Boni security operation that has been in place since 2015 has been effective in neutralising terror threats.
“We are telling investors that they have no reason to fear coming to Lamu. What happened recently were just isolated and unfortunate incidents. There is no threat here and we urge them to come and experience it for themselves,” Macharia said.
edited by p.o