Government outlines successes in Boni forest operation

KDF officer
File image of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers on operation.

Police have outlined the achievements attained in the on-going Operation Linda Boni at Boni forest in Lamu County.

Addressing the press on Friday, Police Spokesperson Charles Owino said that six Al-Shabaab camps in Boni forest, which had been used to launch attacks in Kenya, had been destroyed and weapons stolen by Al Shabaab during Mpeketoni attack recovered.

Owino added that there has been a reduction in security threats in Boni, Milimani, Pandanguo and Maharani noting that locals who had been displaced from their homes have returned.

He noted that two Tanzanians, Masoud Khamis and Twaha Rashid, were arrested on their way to Somalia and charged to court as police move to paralyse the movement of Al-Shabaab recruits into Somalia.

The multi-agency operation, Owino said, was aimed at restoring security in Boni and its environs from threats from Al-Shabaab who are reported to have used the forest as training camp and a route to Kenya.

As part of the operation, police presence has been enhanced in the area with eight more posts being set up in Kiunga, Basuba, Milimani, Pandanguo, Maharani, Witu, Wema and Kipipini.

The forest is also set to be gazetted as a reserve in order to boost tourism with the management of Dandoru Reserve being formulated to create economic benefits for the locals.

Owino further highlighted that the government has moved to better the lives of people living in the area by drilling boreholes in Pandanguo, Budhei and Mangai, improvement of road network including expansion of Hindi-Bargoni-Kiunga road and setting up three airstrips in Hulugo, Kiunga and Budhei.

“The government has collaborated with private sector to improve communication infrastructure with Safaricom currently installing communication masts in three locations,” stated Owino.

“To enhance governance structures and services four Deputy county commissioners will soon be posted to Hulugho, Lamu West, Lamu East and Ijara.”

He further stated that even after the 90 days of the operations, security forces will still retain presence in the area.

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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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