Somalia: Al Shabaab testing ground with sporadic attacks, Mudavadi tells government

Al Shabab fighters train outside Mogadishu in 2011. The U.S. has increased operations against the group, bombing a militant training camp in March. The Pentagon said the strike killed over 150 militants. MOHAMED SHEIKH NOR/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi has said governments laxity in the fight against terrorism is worrying. Mudavadi said the Jubilee government was sitting on its laurels thinking it had won against an extremely determined enemy.

In a statement on Sunday, Mudavadi said the terrorist group al Shabaab was testing the ground with freewheeling sporadic attacks.

He said the terror group has grown in confidence that it can hit Kenya without raising as much a national furor.
“The silence by government is telling. Government is sending the wrong message that acts of terror be treated as normal criminal acts,” reads the statement.

The statement further claims Al Shabaab is emboldened by Kenyan security laxity therefore doesn’t even spare police or KDF as targets.

“Attacks in Mandera county and an overran police station in Wajir County in weeks are not coincidences to be ignored. The terror group’s message is it can attack Kenya at will,” said the statement.

“This lethargy against Al Shabaab is pervasive in response to a lull in insurgency after Garissa last year,” he said.

Mudavadi said last week, six people were killed when the militants sprayed two buses with bullets in Elwak but no response was carried out by security forces.

“Instead, transport to northern Kenya is suspended because operators cannot be guaranteed security.

He made the observations after an attack on Diff police station in Wajir County. The camp was invaded and ransacked for hours by a reported 150 invaders who carted away arms and vehicles.

“But the fact that the attack occurred at all, its intensity notwithstanding, condemns security forces for being found napping,” Mudavadi said.

Mudavadi further challenged the government to reinforce terror security in the midst of refugee repatriations.
He said the government should be vigilant that the planned repatriations of Somali refugees and closure of Dadaab Camp will not be a weapon for renewed Al Shabaab attacks in Kenya.

“If the exercise is mishandled, the exodus of over 250,000 people in single file could provide fodder for justifying attacks,” he said.

Mudavadi demanded the government to reassure Kenyans of their safety against the terrorists.

He reiterated that the government should be aware that closure of Dadaab offends vested business and political interests that may feel justified to aid al Shabaab.

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