Northeastern regional commissioner Mohamed Birik has urged all subcounty security teams to enhance surveillance during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
Addressing the press on Wednesday after meeting chiefs and their assistants in Garissa, Birik said al Shabaab have been known to carry out attacks during festivities.
“Kenyans will be travelling to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Day. Social places will also be crowded and this could be fertile ground for terror attacks,” Birik said.
He said security agencies will be put on high alert but at the same time urged Kenyans to take cautionary measures and report any suspicious characters to relevant authorities. “Let us avoid crowding in one place because our own security comes first,” the commissioner said.
He urged citizens to cooperate with the security measures and assured them that their safety is paramount.
“We can put all security agencies on the ground but if wananchi are not willing to cooperate with them it will be an exercise in futility. They play a very crucial role in matter security,” he added.
The militants are known to take advantage of the rains to move far and wide on foot because ground movement of security personnel is curtailed by bad, muddy roads.
Birik said foot patrols will also be enhanced and new Kenya Police reservists will work with Regular and Administration Police, and the military along the border with Somalia.
“I am instructing all subcounty security chiefs to ensure all Public Service Vehicles and buses have security escorts. We don’t want to take chances as this has previously caused loss of life,” the commissioner said.
He said chiefs and their assistants will be held directly responsible for any violence in their areas.
“You are the eyes of the government at your level. You should build trust between the elders and wananchi so that cooperate and volunteer information on suspicious people in their midst,” he added.
Birik also met regional and county security commanders.