Kenya Residents Warned Against Hiding Al-Shabaab Terrorists

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Kenyan residents in Ijara and Hulugo have been warned against hiding suspected terrorists in their homes.

Regional Commissioner Peter ole Serian visited residents in the two sub-counties on Tuesday and appealed for full cooperation in the fight against Al-Shabaab extremists – insisting nobody linked with the terrorist group will go unpunished.

Operation Boni Forest

Serian’s comments come less than a month after military operations in Boni Forest started, which aim to drive out Al-Shabaab terrorists hiding in the area. So far, no suspected terrorists have been arrested in the operation and it’s feared Al-Shabaab militants could force local residents to accommodate them as hiding places run out.

Residents in the surrounding area are most vulnerable to fleeing militants, with insufficient security measures in place. Which means there is little to protect innocent locals from terrorist demanding help – or the repercussions they face later on.

Improved security promised

Serian has reportedly told local chiefs that more military vehicles will be made available to help protect the areas from terrorist attacks. Complaints had been made that villagers were being targeted by militiamen for acting as government spies and a lack of transport meant no escape route exists, should they be invaded by terrorists.

Security personnel tend to concentrate on trading centres and higher-profile locations, leaving many locals unprotected, and creating a weak spot for Al-Shabaab militants to exploit.

Serian has vowed to step up security measures in the areas, but asked that locals cooperate with security personnel in return.