"DISTURBED ZONE"

Government imposes dusk to dawn curfew in parts of Lamu after wave of killings

Matiangí directed immediate deployment of a multi-agency security team to mop-up illegal firearms.

In Summary

• In a statement on Wednesday, CS Matiang'i declared the affected areas a disturbed zone.

• He also directed the immediate deployment of a multi-agency security team to mop-up illegal firearms and activities in the affected areas.

Interior CS Fred Matiangi addresses a gathering after unveiling Central Nyakach Division in Kisumu County on December 16, 2021.
Interior CS Fred Matiangi addresses a gathering after unveiling Central Nyakach Division in Kisumu County on December 16, 2021.
Image: DANIEL OGENDO

Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiangí has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew for the next 30 days following a spate of recent killings in the area.

In a statement on Wednesday, the CS declared the affected areas a disturbed zone.

He also directed the immediate deployment of a multi-agency security team to mop-up illegal firearms and activities in the affected areas.

"In accordance with Section 106 (1) of the National Police Service Act, 2011, the National Security Council has declared the following parts of Lamu County as Disturbed Areas and ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew for a period of thirty (30) days effective Wednesday, January 5th, 2022," Matiang'i said.

"Residents in the Disturbed Areas are requested to cooperate with the Security agencies and to share information on suspicious persons and activities."

The National Security Council met for the first time this year to discuss attacks that have left seven people dead.

The areas include; Lamu West Sub County and the affected include Mukunumbi Division, Majembeni location, Ndamwe Location, Mkunumbi Location while in Witu Division the affected places include Pandanguo Location, Binde Warinde location, Witu location and Hamasi Location.

In Mpeketoni Division the affected places include Bomani Location, Pongwe Location, Mpeketoni Location, Bahari Location and Mapenya Location in Lamu Central Sub-County, Hindi Division’s Hindi location will be affected.

The directive comes after one person was killed in Bobo-Sunkia village in the Hindi division, Lamu west on Monday.

Lamu county commissioner Irungu Macharia said the attackers also torched two more houses in the village before vanishing.

The commissioner said investigations are underway to ascertain the true identity of the killers and their motive.

The area has seen a land dispute between ranchers and local settlers.

Five suspects were on Tuesday arrested over another attack at Widhu Majembeni in Lamu county, which saw six people killed on Monday.

National Police Service spokesperson Bruno Shioso said the suspects were being grilled over the attack, which was linked to land disputes.

He added that they were following leads in a bid to establish whether the attack has any connections with the outlawed al Shabaab militia or their sympathisers operating in the area.

“All the suspects are locals and we are talking to them to establish more over the attack,” he said.

A team of detectives has been sent there to back up with locals to help in the operation.

Earlier on Tuesday, one person was burnt beyond recognition following an attack at Bobo-Hindi in Lamu County. 

It comes as more security was deployed in the area to trace more suspects over the attacks.

This came two days after a bodaboda rider was on New Year killed after his motorcycle ran over a bomb that was set on the road in Kiunga, Lamu County.

Officials who attended the scene said the Improvised Explosive Device had been set by al-Shabaab militants sighted in the area.

The rider was ferrying khat to the near Kenya-Somalia border when his motorcycle was hit and died on the spot, police said.

Bomb experts said the explosive used in the attack was made using a different technology.

The attack prompted an operation in the area with several multi-agency teams being deployed.

In Liboi area, along the main border, the teams stumbled on a fresh site that had been abandoned by escaping militants. The site had foodstuff and uniforms indicating the gang of about 50 had been there for a while.

There are fears they are planning an attack on security agencies and civilians and this has prompted operations spanning from Mandera, Wajir, Lamu and parts of Kilifi counties.

The area is near the Kenya-Somalia border which has been under attack by terrorists in the past.

Boni Forest is an operation zone as the national government has since 2015 conducted a multi-agency security exercise dubbed Linda Boni, which is aimed at flushing out al-Shabaab militants believed to be hiding there.

Kenya began the construction of the 700-kilometre long wall in 2015 to stop the militants from crossing into and out of Kenya. The wall, which is known as the Kenya-Somalia border securitisation project is among others meant to secure the country from attacks by the Somalia-based al Shabaab terrorists.

The project plan includes having designated immigration and custom entry points with a two-foot-tall concrete wall fitted with CCTV cameras.

Trenches are also being constructed in the area.

The plan includes the creation of at least 22 border posts on the border with well-equipped personnel to respond to any form of aggression.

Officials say once complete, the teams will be spread 40 kilometres apart to enable quick response to attacks from militants.

The fence especially in Mandera and Lamu has helped reduce incidents of attacks by the militants who often crossed at will.

Research by government security agencies says 30 per cent of the country’s security problems are traced to the porous Somalia border often penetrated by terrorists.