Ruto to Shabaab: No retreat, no surrender
Deputy President William Ruto Monday described the weekend terrorist attacks as acts of desperation by Al-Shaabab fighters who are on the run as the noose tightens around their necks.
Mr Ruto said Kenya would not withdraw its forces from Somalia until order is restored.
He insisted that despite the terror attacks in Mombasa on Saturday night and on Thika Road in Nairobi Sunday evening, the security agencies had foiled many more and eliminated terror cells.
“Even a single act of terrorism makes hundreds of successful deterrent measures seem unhelpful,” he told journalists when asked to give more details about foiled attacks.
He said the government was in control of the security situation and described the latest terror attacks as acts of desperation from Al Shabaab, who he said were on the run.
“Those of us who are telling us that we should get out of Somalia are telling us to perform an act of cowardice, to run away from killers and terrorists and people who feed on the blood of others.
We will not. We will face them, confront them, deal with them and defeat them,” said Mr Ruto.
ODM WITHDRAWAL CALL
He was responding to calls by ODM interim leader Anyang Nyong’o who on Sunday said Kenya should withdraw its forces from Somalia to stop further terrorist attacks on its own soil.
“I want to confirm to you, if there is a doubt you had in your mind as to whether we are on top of this situation or not, take it from me, we are on top of this situation and this country is going to be safe for our children, businessmen and the 40 million we have in this country,” Mr Ruto said.
But Monday, Prof Nyong’o criticised Mr Ruto saying: “The Deputy President can afford to say that his government cannot be intimidated because he does not take matatus and has no relative in Somalia. The ordinary Kenyan is intimidated by increasing insecurity in the country.”
After the September 21 attack on Westgate Mall, in which 67 people were killed, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that despite the attack, Kenya would continue with its mission in Somalia.
In response, Al-Shabaab posted a message online saying that the President’s statement was an indication that Kenya had not learned any lesson.
“We will strike Kenya where it hurts the most, turn their cities into graveyards and rivers of blood will flow in Nairobi,” the terrorist group said.
Monday, Mr Ruto challenged the Judiciary to play a bigger role in the war against terrorism by ensuring that suspects arrested and charged in connection with terrorism are not freed on bond.
“We believe that there is more that the Judiciary can do to make sure that these people, once arrested and identified as terror suspects, do not find their way into the general population and continue to execute their evil schemes,” he told a press conference in Nairobi.
In its own defence, the Judiciary said it had already organised a meeting between the top security organ and the Chief Justice. It provided a letter from Chief Registrar Anne Amadi inviting members of the National Security Council, apart from the President and his deputy, to a meeting to address these concerns.
“It is important for the judicial officers to understand the imperatives and challenges of national security.
The meeting that the Chief Justice proposes will afford the two arms of government an invaluable forum to share perspectives on this critical issue in public interest,” Ms Amadi said in the letter dated April 28, 2014.
Monday, Mr Ruto asked the public to support the war on terrorism by being vigilant and reporting suspicious people and objects to the police.
“It is important for Kenyans to realize that it is in their patriotic interests to make sure that these people are reported to law enforcement agencies,” he said.