Lamu governor Issa Timamy has opposed a plan by the national government to evacuate herders in Pandanguo,Witu,Koreni,Pangani and Bodhei villages in Lamu East to pave way for the Linda Boni security operation.
Governor Timamy however, acknowledged efforts being made by the national government to restore security and peace in Lamu but asked for alternative strategies to be pursued instead of evacuating all herders in the villages.
The operation Linda Boni Forest was launched late last year by Interior CS Joseph Nkaisserry in a bid to flush out Alshabaab militants said to be hiding in the forest.
Two weeks ago, the national government issued a seven day eviction notice to all herders mostly from the neighboring Tana River and Garissa counties to enable the operation to be extended to the said villages.
“I really touched by the efforts of the national government to address insecurity here in Lamu.Most of the herders being told to move out are Lamu natives. Let the government find out the real and fake herders and take appropriate action instead of employing a blanket notice. Its unfair.they has nowhere else to go,”said Timamy.
Timamy called on the herders to assist in the operation by submitting any crucial information they might have.
About 500 herders will directly be affected by the eviction notice.
They now want the government to get them alternative settlements before they leave their areas.
Linda Boni operation head James Ole Serian together with the Lamu county security committee made the announcement when they met herders from the villages two weeks ago and said the major objective was to ensure the operation expands to increase effectiveness.
Initially, the Linda Boni operation which was expected to last 90 days but was later extended indefinitely had been effected in Sangailu,Milimani,Basuba,Kiunga,Bodhei,Masalani,Galmagala and the Holugho Border point.
Over 500 herders enter Lamu each season especially from Tana River and Garissa in search of pastures for their livestock.