Kenyans reject al-Shabaab sympathizer label by Interior CS Kithure Kindiki. Kenyan North Eastern leaders pushed back against the Cabinet Secretary (CS)’s insinuations that the locals in North Eastern Kenya sympathize with al-Shabaab.
Wajir & Mandera, KENYA. By Yahya:
Ahmed Abdullahi, Wajir County Governor, emphasized the importance of finding solutions rather than resorting to blame. He criticized Kindiki’s recent remarks and stated, “CS Kindiki is an intellectual, but his statement was quite unfortunate. He is perpetuating the trend of scapegoating our region rather than addressing the actual problem.”
Mr Abdullahi pointed out that the locals constitute the majority of the victims in all attacks, which contradicts the notion of them being sympathizers. He also commended the security officers and volunteers for their dedicated efforts to enhance safety in the region. The increased terror activities in the North Eastern region are primarily due to its proximity al-Shabaab’s areas of presence.
Adan Khalif, Mandera County Governor, asserted that the locals play a vital role in the fight against terrorism. He refuted the claim of collusion with al-Shabaab, stating, “Locals of Mandera are dying while protecting non-locals in the region, and those saying we are colluding with the al-Shabaab are misinformed. We want those given responsibilities by the President to deliver them instead of making wild allegations from their offices.” The leaders emphasized the necessity of a united effort in the war against terror to safeguard the region from the long-term repercussions of terrorism.
Recent al-Shabaab attacks in the North East
Al-Shabaab militants allegedly destroyed a communication mast in Mandera County last week. The County Commissioner, Amos Mariba, said the terrorists used guns and explosives to damage the Safaricom mast. The attack occurred in a sparsely populated area of Sukela Tinfa. It left the communication network down, awaiting repairs to restore the network. The mast was under the guard of the Kenya Police Reserve (KPR). However, heavily armed extremists outgunned them in the middle of the night.
This incident occurred only two days after suspects from the same group targeted a police car in the region. The extremists fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the vehicle and disappeared under unclear circumstances. According to local reports, the ambush allegedly killed two officers and injured five others. However, the Somali Digest could not verify this information independently.