Local leaders on Kenya’s coastal regions are called upon to give necessary support to Kenyan military as Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) resume an operation to flush out members of Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujahideen believed to have found haven in Kenya’s Boni forest.
For the ninety (90) days that the operation is expected to go through, a period that could be extended if deemed necessary, local residents and authorities are expected to cooperate in the following ways:
- Encourage calm among coastal residents
- Advice residents to surrender weapons whether registered or not
- Provide necessary information to authorities to aid netting down militants
Al Shabaab Militants Living in Boni Forest
Intelligence sources have unraveled a possibility of close to 300 members of Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujahideen(Al Shabaab) living in a forest, Boni, which lies on Kenya’s border with Somalia.
Jaysh Ayman, believed to be an affiliate of Al Shabaab dedicated to carryout campaigns in the coastal regions of Kenya, is an arm of Al Shabaab terror group that has massively recruited locals from Kilifi and Mombasa counties.
The outfit is also believed to be linked with controversial mosques in Mombasa from where they were reportedly recruited in 2001 before heading to get training in Somalia.
The militants hiding in Boni forest are believed to have a hand in Mpeketoni massacre as well as Hindi areas of Lamu and Gamba areas of Tana River. They have so far spread out to Yumbis and Galmagalla areas of Fafi Sub County in Garissa.
Residents of the Boni forest are mainly Wata and Wasanye. They are hunters and gatherers and subsist on forest farming.
The operation to flush out elements of Al Shabaab hiding in Kenya’s Boni forest is ongoing and is expected to last for 90 days or more. During this period, Kenya’s military relies on cooperation with residents on the coast.
The militants have made Boni their hiding place whenever they carry out attacks in Kenya, giving an impression that they have crossed over to Somalia. However at the end of the operation, Kenya intends to have totally wiped out terrorists from her borders.