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Jubilee strongholds being targeted in Shabaab attacks, says Marwa

Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa briefing the media at the Lamu County Commissioner's office on July 16, 2017. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa has accused Lamu politicians for funding Al-Shabaab terrorists and subsequent attacks in the County.

For the past two weeks over 30 people including security officers have been killed by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in various parts of Lamu.

The most recent attack was on Thursday last week where a Toyota Prado carrying Public Works Principal Secretary Mariam El Maawy was hijacked by over 30 armed militants at Milihoi on the Mpeketoni-Lamu highway.

During the incident, five occupants in the vehicle including Ms El Maawy’s nephew Arif Kassim Athman were killed while he PS was seriously injured.

JUBILEE FRIENDLY

But addressing journalists in Lamu town over the weekend, an agitated Marwa implicated some politicians in the region, saying they were behind the attacks in Lamu and parts of Tana River.

Mr Marwa specifically said the recent abduction of PS El Maawy by terrorists at Milihoi as she headed to Witu to visit families living in camps was politically instigated.

He said some politicians in Lamu and Tana River have devised ways of financing terror groups with intention to create insecurity so that locals would flee and fail to vote in the forthcoming elections.

He said it was also clear that only persons and places affiliated to the Jubilee Party were being targeted by the terror attacks in Lamu.

SCARE VOTERS

He said the recent terror incidents in Poromoko, Pandanguo, Jima and at Milihoi were merely political strategies by those who plan to scare voters from participating in the General Election.

“We are very much aware that some youth in this county and those who have crossed to Somalia and then returned are being financed by politicians in the forest.

“They sustain them by giving them food, clothing, water and sponsor them with guns. They are the ones directing them to attack innocent citizens in order to scare away residents.

“We must put these answers on the table folks. Let us not bury our heads in the sand no matter who is involved. That’s the position of the government,” said Mr Marwa.

WELL PLANNED

He added: “So if you are in government, whether national or county and you are in the system of financing terrorism because of the August 8 General Election, I think your chances are very limited. “We are warning that the government is aware of silly mechanism to disturb citizens living in this county for political gains.”

He said, some politicians had calculated such evil moves in order to create disharmony in some communities around Lamu and even target security apparatus to create fear among locals as the August 8 polls near.

He insisted that the latest incident that involved the PS was well planned and swore that the perpetrators would be apprehended whether alive or dead.

“The PS is a resident of Lamu, a woman and a Muslim for that matter. They targeted her because she is a government officer and maybe because he is aligned to a certain political party.

SHOOT-TO-KILL ORDER

“They do it in a manner that appears as if they are terrorists but we know of politicians who are providing funding so that residents, security officers and even government officials are killed,” he said.

“They want to instil fear by creating insecurity so people can’t vote but we want to let them know that people will vote and will do so in large numbers too,” said Mr Marwa.

He said it was unfortunate that the politicians were taking care of and protecting the terrorists including feeding them and ensuring their life inside the Boni forest was comfortable as they continue to frustrate locals.

Mr Marwa issued a shoot-to-kill order for any terrorist spotted anywhere in the county.

AL-SHABAAB SPIES

“Why hasn’t the governor or any leader for that matter come out to even issue a condolence message to the PS and the families of those who died or even condemn the incident? What’s the meaning of their silence?” he posed.

Mr Marwa also talked of presence of Al-Shabaab spies situated at the main entry and exit points at the Lamu and Mokowe Jetty’s in Lamu who are said to give information on any persons of interest visiting the county.

He directed police officers to have all persons entering and leaving Lamu town to be thoroughly frisked before being allowed to continue to their destinations.

He said his office was aware of youth who are being financed by politicians to collect and feed them with crucial information or movement of a particular individual coming to Lamu Island, Manda, Shella or back to Mokowe.

FIERCE OPERATION

He said it is from such terror related spying that terror activities are planned and executed in the region.

“You will think they are innocent idle youth who keep walking all over the place day and night but they are in fact spies. We want those responsible arrested no matter what. Police should also ensure any idler at Mokowe or Lamu vacates. We need to sift out genuine people from the rest,” said Mr Marwa.

He said fierce operation to hunt down militants who attacked the PS last week was still underway.

He also said the Linda Boni Operation has been intensified and will go on indefinitely until all Al-Shabaab elements are eliminated completely from the dense Boni forest.

“Airstrikes in Boni forest will continue forever and we don’t care who is inside that forest. He or she should move out or we bomb it. Those against bombing of the Boni forest should also keep off or they come clear and tell us what agenda do they have with the forest and those inside that forest,” said Mr Marwa.

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