Uhuru meets North Eastern MPs, pledges to support fight against terrorism
NAIROBI, KENYA: President Uhuru Kenyatta Wednesday met MPs from North Eastern region and assured them that the state will not victimize their community.
The president hosted 25 MPs from the Muslim community at state house in Nairobi before leaving for Sagana state lodge.
The MPs were led by National Assembly leader of Majority Aden Duale and also attended by Deputy President William Ruto, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and Interior PS Mutea Iringo.
Uhuru told the leaders that the ongoing security swoops were not targeting any community in particular saying it will be done in accordance with the law.
After the morning meeting, the president left for Sagana with the MPs and Kimaiyo remaining behind for another meeting that lasted up to about 2 pm.
Duale confirmed Wednesday’s meeting saying the head of state assured the leaders that he was willing to work with them in flashing out terrorists.
“The president assured the leaders that the Somali community and the Muslim faithful will not be targeted in the crackdown and that the state will work with locals in community policing,” Duale said.
The Somali community leaders have in the past criticized the manner in which the swoops are being carried out especially in Eastleigh, a hub dominated by their community.
However, President Uhuru according to a statement assured the MPs that the ongoing operation was not targeting any particular community but was meant to bolster the internal security of the nation.
“This operation is only targeting crime and terror and all of us must be supportive. It is in the interest of all of us to have a secure country” said the President.
The MPs from the Somali community, from a cross-section of political parties, were in agreement that the campaign against crime was necessary because it was hurting the community just like other Kenyans.
The MPs agreed with the President and the DP that the operation has to be undertaken in accordance with the law.
The President and his deputy attended the first session of the meeting with the MPs who were led by Majority Leader Aden Duale. The MPs later had a second session with Iringo and Kimaiyo.
This is the second meeting the President has held with Somali leaders since the upsurge in terror attacks in Kenya started and the first since the police operation started.
The first meeting involved Duale, Garissa Senator Yussuf Haji, Kamukunji MP Yussuf Hassan and members of the Eastleigh Business Community and it was agreed that an action group would be constituted by the community to work with government to disrupt terror networks.
The meeting involved MPs not only from Jubilee but also from other parties like ODM’s Abdikadir Aden (Balambala), Ibrahim Abass (Ijara) and UDF’s Hassan Osman (nominated).
The government was forced to launch the operations after an upsurge of terror attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa which have been attributed to the Al-Shabaab terror network.
The group has been issuing threats that Kenya would suffer consequences for sending its forces to stabilise Somalia.
The Westgate terror attacks in which many innocent Kenyans died was claimed by Al-Shabaab.
Besides the operations in Nairobi and other cities, police have also launched operations in cattle rustling areas to reduce the vice.