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Daily Nation : January 26th 2014
2 | National News LIBERATION | Residents who fled to Kenya decades ago have returned home in search of new opportunities Schools have reopened, airports are running and even hospitals are operating since the ejection of the terrorist group from key towns Kenyan troops restore order to Somalia T BY LUCAS BARASA In Afmadow, Somalia @ekatoroto firstname.lastname@example.org he Kenyan military has pacified large swathes of southern Somalia it helped liberate from control of Al-Shabaab militants, and normal life is slowly returning to some of the areas. A visit by the Sunday Nation to the Kismayu and Afmadow regions where heavy fighting took place before the Al-Qaedalinked militants were driven out indicated that residents who had fled to Kenya decades ago were returning, business was thriving while various investors were arriving in search of new opportunities. Working under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), Kenya Defence Forces, which has 3,664 troops in the region they call Sector II, is also focusing on capturing towns still under Al-Shabaab control after pacifying small towns like Findigo, Walmaro and Kobwein. In Afmadow, Lt Col GG Mar- row said there is no Al-Shabaab “conduct or activities” in a radius of 50 kilometres, leading many non-governmental organisations EVANS HABIL | NATION Students at Afmadow primary school in Somalia play during break time on Friday last week. The Kenya Defence Forces, under the umbrella of Amisom, has freed 18 towns, including Kismayu and Afmadow, that were Al-Shabaab bases in the past. to express interest in resuming their work. “People from the diaspora are coming back. We have continued to mount foot and aerial patrols,” Lt Col Marrow told the Sunday Nation in Afmadow. The commander in-charge of People from the diaspora are coming back. We have continued to mount foot and aerial patrols.” Lt Col GG Marrow wider Sector II in Somalia, Brig Walter Raria, Lieutenant Colonel Chala Hassan in-charge of Kenyan troops under Amisom at two bases in Kismayu, and Lt Col Marrow said the Kenya military was also escorting NGO and local government officials, protecting civilian and key installations as well as providing medical care. In addition, the Kenyan forces are engaged in conflict resolution, which has helped end inter-clan fighting and bad blood between various fighting forces, including the Ras Kamboni Brigade and the Somalia National Army. To help build good relations with the local people, the Kenyans have been assisting in the recovery of civilian vehicles which get stuck in the rainy season. After more than two years in the region, the soldiers are also helping rehabilitate dams and water pans, mentoring staff at key institutions, monitoring resumption of normalcy and facilitating education and commerce. Their activities have helped improve security following the defeat of organised armed groups. A number of schools and hospitals have resumed operations, recon- struction activities have started, the Kismayu International Airport has re-opened for the first time in 23 years, as has the airstrip in Afmadow that has not been in use for five years. Business at Kismayu port has also resumed. The main supply route between Liboi, Dobley and Kismayu has been re-opened. Hospitals in Kismayu and Afmadow are also operational. Brigadier Raria who spoke to journalists in Kismayu said liberation of more areas in Somalia will depend on the ooperation of all Amisom forces and the Somalia National Army, and added that there was no timeline for this operation. But he said plans were in SUNDAY NATION January 26, 2014 186,000 Kenya military controls these square kilometres as well as 18 towns it liberated under the African Mission in Somalia motion for the liberation of the port of Barare, Jamaane and Jillib farming areas that are currently Al-Shabaab’s main source of income. The militia collects taxes from importers and other traders in Barare while in Jaamane and Jillib, it levies charges on farmers. Kenyan troops are currently in control of 186,000 square kilometres and has liberated 18 towns. Amisom’s efforts got a boost from the surrender of some AlShabaab fighters who couldn’t cope with the onslaught. Brig Raria said four Al-Shabaab fighters and 18 others had recently surrendered to Amisom. The commander, who was accompanied by Lt Col Hassan, showed journalists the 18 clan and militia leaders who were being held. Lt Col Marrow said a key Al-Shabaab leader who had participated on four attacks on KDF had surrendered and had been transferred to Kismayu. The officers said Al-Shabaab forces had been depleted but had resorted to other tactics to inflict harm. Brig Raria said Kenyan soldiers in the Gedo region will relocate to Jubbaland State and be replaced by Ethiopian forces that are also keen on fighting the terrorist group that has been a threat to Kenya’s economy and stability. I am totally well and alive, asserts Biwott BY DENNIS LUBANGA @lubangadenno email@example.com Former Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott (right) says he will take legal action against individuals who went on social media alleging that he had died. The former Kerio South MP said that even though he was deeply disappointed with the sadistic and evil persons who posted the message early yesterday morning, such statements would only add him more years and blessings. Speaking yesterday at Toropiong’on Village in Kaptarakwa Sub-Location, Uasin Gishu County, Mr Biwott called upon the government to move with speed and investigate the matter. Mr Biwott was in the re- gion attending a thanksgiving ceremony to celebrate Mama Regina Kigen who turned 100. Mama Regina is mother to Father Thomas Kigen of Eldoret Catholic Diocese. “Following the malicious posts on social media claiming that I had died, I am going to consult with my lawyers for further action. I call upon the government to investigate this malicious act and bring to book those involved as soon as possible,” he said amid cheers. Father Kigen asserted that an individual’s life is only determined by God and not human beings, and prayed for good health and long life for Mr Biwott. Earlier in the day, an aide to Mr Biwott, William Chepkut, had dismissed the rumours that went viral on social media early yesterday.
October 13th 2013
January 27th 2014