OPINION: Denis Kodhe: Gov’t Failed in Garissa Terror Attack
The National Security Council which is chaired by none other than the President who is also the Commander-in-Chief of all the forces in the country has a duty and responsibility to ensure that Kenyans are safe wherever they are?
The deadly Garissa attack was as a result of institutional failure. Garissa is a volatile area and a hot spot when it comes to the threats by Al-Shabaab but still the government exposed the eight hundred students at the campus endangering their lives without adequate protection and security.
The attack was eminent and the target was clear. It is really unfortunate that the government failed to react in time to avert it.
It seems that insecurity in the country has become just a mere talk show. Enough is enough and it is time that Kenyans demand more concrete and decisive action to be carried out by the government to protect them.
Terror attacks are killing and massacre missions, therefore, security forces should be prepared to deal with them promptly and decisively without wasting much time. This will help minimize the damage and rescue squads like Recce will be facilitated to respond promptly and not as late as it happened at Garrissa, Mandera, Mpeketoni, Westgate and the 1998 American embassy bombing which took three days to fly in sniffer dogs from Israel and other places despite Kenyans being trapped in the collapsed building.
Pursuing terror groups in Somalia was a mistake
When David Kimayo and Joseph Ole Lenku were removed from office as Inspector General of police and Cabinet Secretary for Interior respectively and replaced by Joseph Nkaissery former top military officer as the Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Kenyans did not expect to continue to live in fear and lose lives in the hands of criminals and terrorists.
Terrorism is a reality threat that is not new to the Kenyan Government. In fact, it is the government that exposed its citizens to terrorism by invading Somalia in the name of fighting and pursuing the same terror group that has now become a big threat to its own existence.
It was not a bad idea for KDF and the African Union peace keeping mission to invade Somalia in pursuit of Al-Shabaab militia but time has come to review the operation to determine whether the mission is not in futility and whether there is a need to review the strategy to ensure that the purpose of the mission is achieved and was not merely to transfer the problem from Somalia into Kenya.
It seems that the Al-Shabaab situation has completely gone out of control and the Kenyan government has no capacity to deal with it. It is pointless and meaningless to pretend to be experts of maintaining peace and security in other countries and yet unable to deal with your own situation internally. Kenya should take advantage of many countries such as America, UK, Japan the European Union , Israel etc. who are ready and always willing to support Kenya to fight insecurity especially terrorism.
Monitor movements of known terror suspects
It appears that Al-Shabaab has created a strong terror network in Kenya to plan and execute its activities in targeted area. Instead of reacting after the heinous Kenyan security forces and the National Security Council should be on top of things by ensuring that enough intelligence is gatherer and adequate preparation and mechanism is put in place to deal with any anticipated attacks or moves by the terror groups.
Admission by Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery that the Garrisssa terror attack caught the country by surprise is not only absurd and shameful but also self-defeating especially from a government that is very much aware of the impending threats and that has had similar deadly and bloody attacks by the same terror groups severally.
If the government is truly aware of the identities of suspected terrorists such as Mohammed Kuno, how come they have not been arrested or investigated to monitor their movements? Kenyans are tired of excuses by the government. They want protection and not excuses.
The late Sheikh Makaburi was a terror suspect and yet he stayed moving a bout freely in the country for more than two years without being arrested or detained. Could it be that some elements of the government are also agents or sympathizers of Al-Shabaab and other terror groups?
Israel as a nation is surrounded by what many would call enemies but has managed to survive and is stable despite the terror threats simply by putting in place an effective mechanism to deal with insecurity and to ensure peace and stability for its people.
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