Lamu Women Rep dares KDF to walk into Boni forest, tackle al shabaab head on

Security officers patrolling the expansive Boni forest in Lamu County. Al-shabaab militants use the forest to launch attacks against civilian population in the area. PHOTO/FILE

Lamu, KENYA: Lamu women rep Ruweida Obbo wants security officers conducting the Linda Boni operation in Lamu to walk into the Boni forest on foot to pursue and neutralize Alshabaab militants who have been terrorizing the region.

Obbo says the KDF waste a lot of time patrolling roads using vehicles and choppers instead of pursuing the militants hiding in the Boni forest on foot.

Speaking in Lamu on Friday,Obbo said it was high time the officers conducting the Linda Boni operation to change tact and consider pursuing the militants who have been killing locals and security officers at will on foot.

She said the militants normally launch their attacks on foot and wondered why the security officers couldn’t use a similar technique to counter them.

Obbo wants the KDF to walk into the Boni forest and deal with the Alshabaab instead of patrolling the wrong places using vehicles and helicopters,a move he said hasn’t been working for the longest time ever.

“The Alshabaab normally come on foot whenever they come to attack,never have we ever heard that they arrived aboard a vehicle or plane.They do all they want and walk away on foot.Cant the KDF do the same since the patrols using vehicles and choppers doesn’t seem to be working.They should consider doing something different for a change,maybe that way they might get to win this war on Alshabaab,”said Obbo.

She said it was disheartening that the militants continue to attack and kill innocent civilians right in their homes despite the heavy security presence who seem to be sleeping on their mandate to protect citizens and their property.

Obbo also asked the government to speed up a plan to offer intensive training and modern weapons to the KPR officers in the county in order to contain the security situation.

“This is a time to state the truth as it is.The KDF should stop roaming around the streets and walk into the Boni forest because that’s where these killers are.If Alshabaab can easily walk in and out of the forest,why cant the KDF do the same,”she said.

“We are also asking the government to speed up the issue of training and deploying more KPR and giving them proper weapons so that they can play an effective part in the war on Alshabaab,”said Obbo.

The women rep also called for the reignforcement of the Nyumba Kumi initiative saying the move would go a long way in containing crime and insecurity.

She urged residents to cooperate with the police in the war on terrorism by surrendering crucial tips and information and at the same time asked police to resist the urge to victimize tipsters of such information.

“Everyone has a duty to report to the police anything they feel doesn’t look right or might compromise security.The police must on their part learn to act with caution and shouldn’t victimize people who come to offer such information,” said Obbo.