By Calvin Osiemo
Lamu residents are a happy lot after the Kenya Defense Forces on Sunday managed to stop a terrorist attack planned by the Al-Shabaab militia group on a KDF camp. This move has garnered praise for the KDF from various quarters including the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The militants in military regalia attacked a KDF camp at Baure, Lamu at around 5:45 am on Sunday morning which led to a fierce exchange of fire between KDF and the militia which left 11 of the 100 attackers dead.
According to military spokesman Colonel David Obonyo, two KDF soldiers lost their lives in the attack. The attack was executed on the first anniversary of the Mpeketoni attack that left 70 people dead and devastated the region’s economic and social structure.
Through their embassies to Kenya, both the UK and US said that it is a great move towards fighting terrorism bearing in mind the threats terrorism has posed to the country and promised of their continued support in the fight against terrorism. Dr. Christian Turner, the United Kingdom ambassador to Kenya took the opportunity to send condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers and congratulated them for the spirited efforts in their service to the nation.
“I offer my deepest condolences to the families of the brave Kenyan soldiers who lost their lives or were injured in the attack. I would also like to praise the decisive response of the Kenyan Defense Forces, who displayed exemplary levels of expertise and courage in countering the attack,” said Dr. Turner.
The UK ambassador to Kenya said his government will continue working closely with the Kenyan authorities by sharing intelligence and also ensuring that those involved in terrorist activities are brought to justice.
“The can be no place for such barbaric acts of violence in our societies. The UK continues to work closely with the Kenyan government both in the fight against terrorism, and in its efforts to bring the guilty to justice. Kenya’s security’s challenges represent a shared threat, and require a shared response,” he added.
The Unites States of America ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec in a statement echoed the sentiments of his UK counterpart and said that all communities ought to join hands to fight and stop extremism.
“We also offer our profound appreciation to the Kenya Defense Forces and other security services that risk their lives daily to counter the scourge of terrorism in Kenya and the region. This attack underscores again the threat that terrorists pose, and reinforces the need for all communities to unite to combat violent extremism. The United States remains a committed friend and will continue to stand with Kenya in the fight against terrorism,” read in part the statement from the US ambassador.