Too many lives at stake to not consider deal with Shabaab

Militant group has demanded that Kenya withdraws her troops from Somalia

In Summary

• President struck a deal with Opposition for peace, he could strike one with Shabaab to save lives. 

• State is spending billions of funds to repel attacks and mend damages, money that would otherwise be used for development. 

A file photo of KDF soldiers taking cover as their convoy manoeuvres through the forests of Somalia.
BIGGER PICTURE: A file photo of KDF soldiers taking cover as their convoy manoeuvres through the forests of Somalia.
Image: FILE

The latest slaughter of the 11 innocent Kenyans by al Shabaab militants may not be the last unless Kenyans candidly ask themselves hard questions as to why the militant group continues to kill innocent Kenyans in our their country. The answer is with us citizens, military and political leadership. 

Al Shabaab has demanded Kenya to withdraw her troops in Somalia as a pre-condition to stop attacking us. When we think of all the lives we have already lost to the jihadist group and the many more we are likely to lose, that demand sounds much more manageable.

It will not be cowardice but strategical because Kenya will also advance her terms and conditions for withdrawal of the troops from the neighbour nation. 

Kenya will not need to meet the militants in Nairobi or in the bushes of Somalia from where they operate but in a neutral country; as is normal in such a situation. 

Kenya should not be ashamed to negotiate with al Shabaab for the sake of saving thousands of lives especially at the porous borders with neighbouring countries. The president struck a deal with the Opposition to quell political violence in the country; he can strike another with the militants to secure inhabitants of volatile border towns. 

Worse still, Kenya is spending billions of taxpayers' and donor funds to fight al Shabaab and mend the damages that result from their attacks. These are funds that would otherwise be used to develop the country–especially the towns' infrastructure that has been damaged in previous attacks.