Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said security has been heightened to deter Al-Shabaab threats, reiterating that security officers have been deployed in all key areas including the conference venue, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and the hotels.
“We have taken adequate measures to ensure the safety of all Kenyans and the conference participants throughout this period and beyond. Security has been heightened and will remain so, during this period to deter any unwelcome actions,” he said late Monday.
The CS remark’s came a few hours after five police officers were seriously injured in Mandera County near the Somali border in an explosion on Monday.
The officers had stepped on the improvised explosive device which suspected Al-Shabaab militants had planted overnight on the Somalia-Mandera road.
The latest incident came a day after the militants killed a soldier and injured two others in the same region following an ambush.
The authorities believe that the Islamist militants could be planning attacks in Nairobi which is hosting senior UN and government officials including and policy makers from more than 160 countries for the conference.
“I wish to remind Kenyans that this WTO conference is taking place during the festive season and urge each and every one of us to remain vigilant,” Nkaissery said.
Nkaissery urged Kenyans to cooperate with the police in order to ensure the international conference goes on as planned and without interruption.
“I want to take this opportunity to urge all Kenyans to oblige with the measures put in place during this period. We have done this to guarantee our own safety as well as that of our visitors. We have also done this carefully to ensure no disruption to normal operations within and around the City,” said Nkaissery.
He said the conference venue will remain a restricted area for the conference period and only accredited persons will be allowed access after frisking at several control points around the conference venue.
Nkaissery said a buffer zone that encompasses the conference venue, adjacent government buildings, roads and parking roads has been created to ward off those who are not accredited.
“Do feel at home away from home and be assured that the security agencies of the Republic of Kenya are at hand to provide the best environment for your deliberations and fruitful outcome of this historic meet,” said Nkaisserry.
The authorities said they have enhanced vigilance after intelligence reports had indicated an impending terror attack by Al-Shabaab affiliate group Jeysh Ayman in the coastal region and across the key cities and towns. Enditem