Linda Boni Director tells off conservationists against bombing of forest

Linda Boni Director tells off conservationists against bombing of forest

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An aerial view of Boni Forest in Lamu. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu, KENYA: Linda Boni operation director Joseph Kanyiri has asked civil society groups and activists in Lamu to keep off and stop interfering with the activities of the operation.

Kanyiri said some members of the Save Lamu group and those of the Lamu County Wildlife Conservation Committee have been making utterances aimed at dishonoring the ongoing operation inside the Boni forest.

The Save Lamu and conservation committee have opposed the ongoing bombing of the Boni forest and said the move will destroy the immense flora and fauna in the forest and also impact negatively on the lives of the Aweer community whose livelihoods are pinned on the Boni forest.

The Aweer are traditionally hunters and gatherers who depend of the forest for survival .

However,speaking last week,the director categorically stated that the state was going to bomb the Boni forest in order to destroy Alshabaab hideouts believed to be located deep within.

Speaking in his office in Lamu on Friday,Kanyiri said activists and conservationists in the county have been opposing every single proposition by the government in the war on terror and specifically the Alshabaab.

Kanyiri said his fisrt priority was the security of Lamu and wondered why the activists and conservationists were more concerned about trees and animals when tens of lives and soldiers had been lost at the hands of the Alshabaab.

He said the government’s priority was to eliminate terrorism at all costs and ensure peace is restored in all parts of the county.

“I cannot comprehend why someone feels when a number of trees are destroyed in order to save a thousand lives.Infact they should be supporting the course.This is serious business and that’s why am asking activists and conservationists to stick their necks elsewhere.Where here to protect lives and end terrorism and that will happen at any cost,” said Kanyiri.

Kanyiri said the ongoing bombing was only targeting Alshabaab hideouts located in the deepest parts of the forest and very far from human habitats and wondered why the activists were saying the exercise would affect the lives of the host Aweer community.

“The Aweer community remains intact and their lives go on after all the bombing is happening thousands of miles away from their habitats.The bombing shall go on and whoever doesn’t like it should come out and tell us better reasons and not rumors.Many of those talking seem not to have an understand of what exactly is going on.They should come and ask us,”said Kanyiri.

Meanwhile,residents where the Linda Boni security operation have started moving out of their homes in order to pave way for the operation.

Kanyiri said herders have also heeded the call to move out of the Boni forest to allow for the bombing to happen.

He said the bombing would go on until the last Alshabaab hideout in the forest is destroyed.

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