Source: Daily Nation

Pursue these raiders across the border

 Kenya's national security is threatened by raiders from Somalia who are by no means your ordinary bandit or cattle rustler.

These raiders are well-organised, well-equipped and well-trained, and they appear to have an agenda in their sporadic intrusions into Kenya.

And the country's response? We have been talking to elders to seek the return of stolen vehicles and weaponry, and even kidnapped people.

This has not worked because it amounts to mollycoddling people who should be taught a lasting lesson — people who invade a sovereign state ought to be repelled by military means, otherwise they will never stop.

It is on record that since mid last year, raiders from Somalia have infiltrated our porous border on four separate occasions, abducted police officers and executed them, attacked a police camp and rescued two people suspected of terrorism, stolen a police vehicle and weapons, and driven merrily back to Somalia.

Two months ago, they raided another Administration Police camp, killed two officers and three civilians, and stole an assortment of rifles.

Again, nothing of a deterrent nature was done, emboldening the raiders even more. Now they have abducted two nuns and spirited them to Somalia.

It is speculated that the raiders may be an al-Qaeda offshoot, the al-Shabaab, who have always been active on the Somali coast, but are now making their presence felt more openly.

Hot pursuit and deterrence are key here. If this country keeps negotiating for the return of hijack victims and vehicles, these people will never stop.

There is no way out but to beef up security on the border, which is no mean feat, considering its porosity and the fact that Kenya may have no capacity to patrol it.

But there is a way out of those handicaps, which is where assistance is required.

More patrols are definitely indicated with enough firepower to mount cross-border hot pursuit.

For that, our soldiers need high mobility. Isn't it time someone considered purchasing and using helicopter gunships to teach these gangsters a lasting lesson?

Source: Daily Nation

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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