Source: Daily Nation
Leaders from Lamu County have held a consultative peace and security meeting following recent attacks that have rocked the county.
The leaders resolved to work together to preach peace among locals and restore calm in the county.
The meeting at the Kenya Ports Authority boardroom discussed, among other issues, how leaders elected at the county and national levels would work together to foster security, cohesion and coexistence among locals.
County Commissioner Njenga Miiri and Lamu Governor Issa Timamy addressed a press conference after the meeting.
The two leaders announced that they would travel together around the county to reassure residents that both the national and county governments were doing everything possible to ensure the current situation is addressed.
“Leaders have decided to work together irrespective of their political affiliations for the sake of our people,” Mr Miiri told the press conference.
He said the government had deployed adequate security personnel to boost security and pursue gunmen linked to the recent killings of nearly 80 people in the county.
“We have taken steps to increase security and we call upon residents to stop speculating and spreading rumours,” he added.
Lamu Senator Mohammed Abu Chiaba, women representative Shakila Abdallah and Lamu East MP Athman Shariff also attended the meeting.
The administrator said a contingent of General Service Unit, Rapid Deployment and Rural Border Patrol Units of the Administration Police had been deployed across the county to enhance security.
Also involved in the operation are the Kenya Defence Force (KDF), which had deployed specialised personnel to pursue the attackers deep inside Pandanguo, Gorji and Belasange forests.
He confirmed that the military was combing the forests where the gunmen are believed to be hiding.
On Sunday, locals told Nation.co.ke that they had spotted Kenya Air Force jets flying over Gorji and Belasange forests and heard a huge explosion.
“We are doing everything to ensure they are flushed out of their hideouts. The operation will be carried out until normalcy returns to this county and after that you will not hear them doing what they have done to our people,” he added.
Mr Timamy said they were expecting the parliamentary Committee on National Cohesion and Integration to visit the county soon to talk to locals.
“This meeting is the first of its kind since we had the attacks started in our county. We are happy with the security measures put in place in the county,” he added.
Mr Miiri and Mr Timamy warned residents against spreading rumours and hearsay that would cause tension.
They said people with ill motives had taken advantage of the situation to engage in criminal activities.
Mr Miiri said police were investigating a lorry driver and his assistant who claimed to have been carjacked by four gunmen.
He said initial investigations indicated that the two had sold some 180 bags of sugar, 50 bags of rice and several cartons of milk that they had been given by their employer to distribute to wholesale and retail shops in Witu, Mpeketoni and Lamu town.
“They claimed to have been attacked by gunmen, but preliminary investigations indicated that they sold the items and stage-managed the attack to hoodwink their employer,” added Mr Miiri.