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CONCERNED FOR SECURITY

Lamu terror-prone villagers demand promised police posts

The government promised to set up more security camps to secure them from Shabaab attacks

In Summary

• The villages include Kaisari, Nyatha, Poromoko, Mavuno, Maleli and all other villages bordering the Lamu-Somalia border.

• Are under Linda Boni operation which was launched in September 2015 to flush out Shabaab militants holed up inside the Boni forest. 

Residents of terror prone villages in Lamu have appealed to the national government to speed up the establishment of security camps as agreed years ago.

The villages include Kaisari, Nyatha, Poromoko, Mavuno, Maleli and all other villages bordering the Lamu-Somalia border.

Years back, after numerous meetings between security officials and residents, it was agreed that both KDF camps and police posts would be established to secure them from further Shabaab attacks.

However, residents have expressed concerns over the absence of these amenities. 

Community elder Peter Sihale of Poromoko village said they still feel vulnerable in case of more attacks.

In 2014, more than 10 men from the village were massacred by Shabaab militants on a single night.

Sihale says the village hasn’t healed from the incident and the fact that the proposed police posts haven’t yet been erected is even more disconcerting.

“We haven’t forgotten what happened in 2014.The terrorists were on a killing spree and no one helped us. The nearest police post in kilometres away. We need the government to fulfil their promise to build security camps here,” Sihale said.

These areas are among those under the Linda Boni security operation which was launched by the national government in September 2015 to flush out Shabaab militants holed up inside the Boni forest.

Madina village, which is closest to the border, relies on the KWS and police camps in Kiunga and Mkokoni kilometres away for security.

Community elder Yusuf Abdi said they are worried that the location of their village makes it prone to attacks by terrorists coming from Somalia.

“They can easily come in and attack then leave in seconds, we are that close to the Somalia border and its scary. If we had a security camp here as they had promised, it would be easier to sleep at night. If anything happens here, it will take hours for security officers from Mkokoni and Kiunga to reach us,” Abdi said.

Residents have also proposed that the government allows them to clear parts of the Boni forest and set up residences as a way of keeping away militants.                     

County commissioner Irungu Macharia urged locals not to worry as the county was well secured. 

He urged residents to, however, continue to cooperating with security agencies by submitting any crucial information to ensure any threat to peace and stability is nipped in time.

“Our officers are on high alert at all times and every corner of this county is greatly guarded.Lamu has never been safer,” he said.

Edited by R.Wamochie