- Oloo said it is such cooperation that will ease the war on crime and terrorism.
- He said such will greatly facilitate the war against al-Shabaab militants all across the region.
Security agencies in Lamu County have been asked to work closely with local communities in their daily operations so as to effectively tackle terrorism, radicalization and other crimes.
Lamu Assistant county commissioner Phillip Oloo said there is a need for security agencies to cultivate a close relationship with the locals to enable the cultivation of trust between the two sides and a free flow of information that will in essence guarantee a safer Lamu.
Speaking when he led scores of police officers and wananchi in a peace walk in Mpeketoni on Monday, Oloo said it is such cooperation will ease the war on crime and terrorism.
He said such will greatly facilitate the war against al-Shabaab militants all across the region.
According to the assistant commissioner, the peace walk is aimed at fostering good relations and cooperation between security officers and residents of Mpeketoni.
For years, Lamu County has borne the brunt of terror attacks from Al shabaab militants that have left scores of security officers and locals dead in various parts of the county.
The most gruesome ever terror attacks however took place in Mpeketoni in Lamu West in June 2014 where over 90 men were slaughtered to death by the militants on a single night.
Residents would wake to horrific scenes of bodies of the victims strewn along the roads, in farms, in the bushes and in homes.
Other areas that have equally gone through gruelling terror attacks in Lamu include Kibaoni, Witu, Mkunumbi, Hindi, Juhudi, and Marafana areas within and around the Boni.
Oloo stressed the need for security agencies in the region including the police and the Kenya Defense Forces-KDF to build working cooperation with local communities so as to make it easy to achieve peace and security in Lamu county.
The assistant commissioner admitted to having received numerous reports of unnecessary harassment of wananchi by security agencies in the region.
He reiterated that it is the job of security agencies to guard the lives and property of Kenyans and at the same time ensure peace prevails in all corners of the republic.
“We are having this peace walk to remind us that we need to work together to achieve our objective which is peace and security. This is to build good relations between security officers and the community. Am calling on security agencies to work with locals so make peace and stability possible,” said Oloo.
He said with better relations between the two sides, there will be an easy flow of information and critical Intel on crime and terrorism.
“If the community trusts the security agencies, they will confide in them and inform them of anything that will be helpful in combating crime. That way, we will be steps ahead of the enemy as we will be able to easily neutralize their plans beforehand,” said Oloo.
The soccer matches are undertaken in various areas of Lamu considered terror hotspots including Witu, Mpeketoni, and Kibaoni.
The peace walks were organized by the Kiunga Youth Bunge Initiative-KYBI in partnership with Act (ACT-Change Transform) under the Accelerated Response Initiative Against Violent Extremism-ARIVE Program which is funded by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund-GCERF.
The initiative also incorporates football matches between security officers and locals in various parts of Lamu County with the objective being to spread the message of peace and tackle terrorism and radicalization among the youth.
The KYBI Director Noor Dahir urged security agencies to uphold human rights every time they are out at work.
He called on the community especially the youth to volunteer and partner with the police and the KDF so as to end crime, radicalization and terrorism in the region.
“The peace walks and football tournaments have two major players which are the security officers and locals. The objective is to encourage both sides to work together with a view to easing the war on crime and reinforcing the pursuit of peace here. Let's strive to achieve this,” said Dahir.
During the match between Mpeketoni police and the local Tiger FC club, the latter lost 2-1.