Spare no effort in war on terror merchants

Monday, January 6th, 2020 06:12 |
Lapsset. Photo/Courtesy

The optimism of a New Year—and indeed the start of  a new decade—is being clouded by incidents of terror attacks in Lamu by suspected al Shabaab bloodhounds. 

On January 2, the Somalia-based terror group that has in the last four years been largely degraded and reduced to a ragtag group of religious ideologues, signalled its intent of resurgence with an ambush on public service buses on the Mombasa-Lamu road in a raid that left three people dead last week.

Similar raids have targeted security officers, especially in Northeastern region before. 

Late last month, the militants staged a deadly attack in Somali capital, Mogadishu, leaving more than 70, including students, dead.

And yesterday, the security agents repulsed yet another attack on Manda Island. 

That there have been two attacks in this critical economic conclave that is the heart of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (Lapsset) corridor project in just four days is not only alarming, but a matter of national security.

Nine years ago, the Kenya Defence Forces entered Somali in an operation dubbed Operation Linda Nchi after recurrent terror attacks by the militia on Kenyan soil.

Its mission was to pursue the terrorists, who were threatening the security of the people and economic interests, especially the sensitive tourism sector, into their base and neutralise them. 

The Kenyan troops later joined other African forces under Amisom to degrade the militia. Its mandate was to expire before 2020. It is ironic that at the tail end of the mission al Shabaab seems to be reawakening. This must not be allowed to happen.

While some may dismiss the latest raids as the kicks of a dying horse, their consequences are testimony that the enemy is not yet defeated.

It means security agents in concert with other regional and global anti-terror players need to quickly retreat to the drawing board to restrategise on how to decimate the threat.

 This is urgent because there is rising tension at the global level, especially in the volatile Middle East region, where the US-Iran crisis is threatening to snowball into a full-scale conflict unless sobriety prevails.  

Regionally, no effort must be spared to defeat the militia. And more importantly, ensure our intelligence and other security agencies, which have and continue doing a fantastic job, are better resources to detect and neutralise the militants plans at infancy.

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