We will crush al-Shabaab, vows Defence CS Aden Duale

Aden Duale

Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The government is determined to end the al-Shabaab menace that has continued to disrupt life in the North Eastern region, with more than 10 security personnel killed in the past month.

Speaking at Garissa University's fourth graduation ceremony, Defence Cabinet Secretary Adan Duale said the state security machinery was on the trail of the al-Shabaab terror group from neighbouring Somalia.

He said all security forces had been mobilised and would go after the enemy.

"Al-Shabaab ... we are coming for you. We will use the navy, air force and special forces to hunt you down both in Kenya and inside Somalia," he said.
The CS challenged North Eastern residents to join the state in the fight against the terrorists.

"We want to see development in this region. The road from Isiolo to Mandera should be built. The Lapsset project must be completed and that can only be achieved with peace and security," he said.

The CS said the government remains committed to ensuring that schools in the region get teachers like any other school in other parts of the country.

He revealed that Kenya and Somalia have agreed to jointly deal with al-Shabaab once and for all.

"Our government has agreed with President Mohamed Sheikh of Somalia and other partners and allies who have troops in Somalia that together we will finish off al-Shabaab," he said.

Deal with al-Shabaab

According to Mr Duale, senior security officials from the North Eastern region should be used to deal with al-Shabaab.

The region has Mr Noordin Haji as the director-general of the National Intelligence Service, Mr Amin Mohamed as the head of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Mr Duale as the CS Defence.

"We cannot have these senior security officials from this region and al-Shabaab continues to terrorise the local community," he said.

The CS issued a warning to al-Shabaab sympathisers in the region, saying the government would not spare them in the fight against terrorism.

"We will listen to any communication you have with the enemy. The boda boda riders who supply food to the militants will also be dealt with," he said.

According to CS Duale, the state has recruited and deployed enough intelligence personnel in the region.

He wants miraa dealers in the region to report to the police suspicious people buying the stimulant from them.

"We will not fall. They wanted to close this university, but we are here to celebrate a milestone. Garissa University is bigger now and we want a united Kenya," he said. 

CS Duale's warning to al-Shabaab came just hours after the militants tried to attack a security camp in Mandera during the night.

The militants raided the Quick Response Unit camp in Jabi, Mandera North, but were repelled by officers at the camp.

The incident occurred on Wednesday night hours after three people were killed when a vehicle they were travelling in was hit by an explosive device on the Wargadud-Elele-Takaba road in Mandera South.  

To improve the welfare of students at the university, the Ministry of Defence has promised to drill a borehole to ensure adequate water supply.

Garissa University suffered a terror attack on April 2, 2015, when al-Shabaab militants stormed the campus and killed 184 students.

Speaking at the same event, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu urged the local community to protect the institution.

"Having a university in a county is very important and once you lose it, it will not be easy to get it back. Protect this university," said Mr Machogu.

Not attacked again

He said the government has put in place the necessary machinery to ensure that Garissa University is not attacked again.

"We want students from all over to come to Garissa and get quality education from here. What happened in 2015 is behind us and security in the region has improved," he said.

Mr Machogu urged clan elders to take the lead in addressing insecurity in the region.

"When I was a commissioner in Wajir, we had a council of clan elders that used to report on security issues. Let us go back to that so that we attract development to this part of the country,” he said.

To address the teacher shortage in the region, the CS revealed that the gap will be filled once the President Working Party presents its report to the Head of State.

"In the next two weeks there will be a report from the Presidential Working Party and one of the issues that has been addressed is how we will have a home-grown solution to the shortage of teachers in this region," he said.

He revealed that most locals will now be able to train as teachers because the marks used for entry to teacher training colleges will be lowered.

He promised to ensure that Garissa University receives students like any other tertiary institution now that security has improved in the area.