The Kenyan government on Sunday revealed it has a list of 35 individuals from northeastern county of Mandera who have joined the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab network to carry out attacks in their home country.
Mohamud Saleh, the Northeastern Regional Commissioner, said that the 35 individuals who are well known by the local community have raised families in Kenya and have always alternated between Somalia and Kenya without notice.
“I have the names of the youth who have been recruited by Al-Shabaab. We know their families and even their wives. They cross over to Somalia often to visit their families and nobody reports to authorities,” Saleh told a group of elders who attended a peace meeting in Mandera.
He regretted that so far no elected leader or clan elder has condemned Al-Shabaab publicly yet they are quick to condemn the government when security agents carry out an operation to nab suspects.
Saleh expressed shock at an incident where Kenyans at a border town in Mandera accused security forces for bombing a mobile phone mast in Somalia in retaliation to a similar attack mast by Al-Shabaab militants.
“We must be honest with ourselves. Unless leaders come out and take the lead in restoring and maintaining security in Mandera, then the region will never recover from insecurity,” Saleh told clan elders
He added that the government has resolved to carry out a massive operation to flush out Al-Shabaab militants in regions bordering Somalia.
Saleh said that security forces in the area have made tremendous strides in suppressing the Al-Shabaab menace in the area and the region at large. Enditem