Public Works Principal Secretary Mariam El-Maawy was supposed to inspect some projects in Lamu on July 13, 2017 when Jaysh Ayman attacked her convoy on the Mokowe-Mpeketoni Road. The PS was with her nephew, a trainee pilot, when the shooting started in Milihoi – a sparsely populated area whose bushes offer Al-Shabaab a canopy to waylay unsuspecting travellers.
We had been on the open ocean for almost an hour when the most terrifying thing happened. The boat’s engine suddenly shut down. Within seconds, the rumble of the Indian Ocean’s water as it splashed past the boat into the horizon stopped. Everything, suddenly, went silent. Our journey towards the Kenyan border with Somalia was about to end and the ocean was now completely in control. The vastness of the sea, on all sides, disappeared into the horizon.
Kiwayu, 75 kilometres north of Lamu by speed boat, is a remote and unblemished island where time seemingly stands still. It has the whitest sand you will ever see and the blue colour of the Indian Ocean around it creates a seamless intersection with the sky. If you have ever dreamt of being cast away on a remote island, this is the place to be. But this beauty masks the terror within and dangers about. Before 2011, the island was a haven for tourists that had been ranked by numerous magazines as one of the places to visit in the world. One of its hotels, the Kiwayu Safari Lodge that overlooked the Kiunga Marine Park, cost a minimum of Sh35,000 per person per night. That changed overnight.
On the morning of October 16, 2011, Kenyans woke up to the news that the military had launched an offensive into southern Somalia called Operation Linda Nchi to pursue the Shabaab. A decade later, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) are yet to win the war. On the positive side, Al-Shabaab cells in the country have been decimated. But in Somalia, their terror continues. Last Sunday, they killed 16 people at a beachside hotel in Mogadishu, a signal that the extremists are still well organised .
On paper, the Kiunga Marine Reserve, Dodori and Boni National reserves read like tourism destinations plucked from heaven. But they are not. The Kenya Wildlife Service particularly describes Kiunga on its website as “a pristine ecosystem incorporating a chain of about 50 calcareous offshore islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago”. From above, it is picturesque. Below, it is a heartless land, a dangerous jungle where marauding Al-Shabaab gangs call the shots
Conflict experts are warning that Kenya’s failure to restore education in its troubled northeastern regions will help terrorist group al-Shabab recruit local youth. A report from the International Crisis Group calls on Kenyan authorities to cooperate with the locals to improve security and train teachers for the schools. Kenya’s northeastern region has begun the process of finding more teachers to lead classes when schools re-open next January.
Security forces on Wednesday repulsed terrorists who attacked Yumbis area in Garissa County. One officer later died due to injuries while three others are in hospital. Al-Shabaab terrorists attacked a security camp in the area but were repulsed by Border Patrol Unit personnel who were there at about 6 pm. The attackers then turned their anger on manyattas in the area and burnt them down, accusing locals of leaking their plan to police. North Eastern Regional Police boss Rono Bunei said the attackers also burnt down a house belonging to a primary school principal before escaping.
THE Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS’s) threats against South Africa raise the spectre of terrorism in neighbouring Mozambique degenerating into a regional crisis. Already, the insurgency is greatly tainting the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC’s) reputation as the most peaceful regional bloc in the continent. Recently, ISIS, warned it would “open a fighting front inside South African borders” if it deployed its military to boost the response by the Mozambican government to eradicate the ISIS-affiliated Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah, whose terror has led to the deaths of an estimated 2 000 civilians in the Cabo Delgado. Members of the Mozambican military have also been killed.
A police officer was killed and three others were injured Wednesday evening after suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked a police camp in Garissa. Northeastern Regional Coordinator Nick Ndalama said the injured officers are hospitalised in Garissa. During the evening attack, locals said they heard loud explosions followed by a series of gunfire at the Yumbis Rural Border Patrol Unit (RBPU) camp in Dadaab sub-county.
A police officer died and three others were last evening injured when suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked Yumbis Rural Border Patrol Unit (RBPU) camp in Fafi sub-county, Garissa County. According to police sources, one police officer died and another was injured when their armored vehicle run over an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by the roadside by the militants as they were on their way to rescue their colleagues. The other two officers were injured as they fought back the attackers whom they managed to repulse in the 6 pm attack.