Lamu governor opposed to bombing of Boni forest

Lamu governor Issa Timamy after he was crowned an elder in Witu.PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu,KENYA:Lamu Governor Issa Timamy has opposed plans by the government through Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa to have the Boni forest bombed in order to flush out Al-Shabaab terrorists said to be hiding and even staying inside the forest.

Speaking in Mokowe on Thursday,Timamy said it was harmful for any given nation to destroy its resources for any given reason when there were plenty of other choices available to tackle the situation at hand.

Timamy said the forest was rich in a lot of wild animals and is also one of the best forest covers in Kenya and the world and that destroying it was unreasonable.

The governor urged the national government to think of better ways to tackle the Alshabaab menace other than having to bomb the Boni forest.

“If Alshabaab are said to be hiding in a particular town or city,do you go there and bomb the city and or town?Ofcourse not.Then why the plan to bomb Boni forest.I believe there are so many other ways at the government’s disposal to deal with the Alshabaab menace in the forest.We don’t need to destroy irreplaceable resources just for Alshabaab.The government can do more than that,”said Timamy.

Boni elders agree to bombing of Boni forest

He said Boni forest was known globally as among the forest with highest number of wild animal species.

The governor also condemned the recent attack by suspected Alshabaab militants in Pandanguo that left three police officers dead.

He called on the public to also join hands with the security officers by surrendering any information that will enable war on terror to be a success.

This comes just a day after Boni elders unanimously agreed to the bombing of the forest to flush out Alshabaab militants said to be hiding within.

Apart from being a huge tourist attraction,the Boni forest has been the lifeline for the Aweer community commonly referred to as the Boni who are traditionally hunters and gatherers and honey harvesters.

The forest was however declared a no-go zone by the KDF shortly after the launch of the Linda Boni security operation on September 15,2015.