Residents living near Boni Forest asked to vacate

By Beth Nyaga

Residents living near Boni Forest have been asked by the Coast Regional Commissioner, Nelson Marwa, to move away from the areas ahead of a major security operation.

Marwa warned farmers and herders within Lamu and Tana River Counties to consider alternative areas to live in at the time of the operation to flush out Al-Shabaab militants from the forest.

Speaking in Mpeketoni, the commissioner said, “The government will continue with the operation until all the suspects are eliminated.”

“The government plans to launch the biggest assault ever that will involve air and ground operations saying it will be risk for those hovering around the forest as civilians,” he added.

Marwa lauded security officers drawn from different security organs conducting the operation saying they are determined to secure the region.

Communities in the region are also being urged to support the Boni Forest Operation by moving away from the area to make the officers work easier.

The commissioner warned that he will not allow terrorists to attempt to attack again as what was the case in 2014 where over 60 people were murdered in Mpeketoni.

Marwa also warned youths who are joining terror groups’ using the Kiunga Border to stop.

The commissioner said the government has established that many youths have crossed the boarder with some pretending to be herders and fishermen.

The security chief however says the government has also established a new wave of recruitment following the disappearance of street boys  between the ages of 12 and 26 from the streets of Mombasa Malindi, Lamu and Diani.

Marwa concluded by asking on locals to report any suspicious characters to the authorities saying it’s important for Kenyans to remain vigilant especially at a time when the country is facing terror threats and also cautioned security officers to act swiftly whenever they are given information.