Nairobi(Mogadishu24)-Leaders from northeastern Kenya have voiced their concerns about the ongoing attacks by Al-Shabaab in the region and the threat the militants pose to national security.

During a security debate in Parliament, Hon. Farah Maalim, the Member of Parliament for Dabaab Constituency, highlighted the need to create and mobilize local forces known as ‘Macawisley.’ The objective of this initiative is to effectively flush out the militants from their hiding places, drawing upon the success of a similar approach in his constituency.

“These people are not facing the troops in huge numbers; they only launch attacks in a group of 5 or 6. The best way to deal with them is for us to create our own Macawisley (local forces), which is our own Kenya Police Reservists (KPR), and KPR is in a position to track them and smoke them out of wherever they go in. In my constituency now, Hon. Yakub will tell you that there is no single Al-Shabaab in my constituency, and we flushed them out. And I spent my own resources to send those young men to follow them on foot and track them. Just the other day they tried to attack Hame, and you know what happened to them, four of them were locked down,” expressed Hon. Farah Maalim.

Highlighting the challenging circumstances faced by the local forces engaged in combating terrorism, Hon. Farah Maalim emphasized the urgent need for improved compensation, stating, “We should pay the KPR better than we do now because they are paid a very paltry five thousand shillings a month, and that doesn’t even come for six or seven months in a row.”

In response to the recent attacks on security personnel in Mandera, Garissa, and Lamu counties, the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) has strongly condemned these acts of violence. Alhajj Hassan, Supkem’s national chairman, expressed deep concern over the attacks targeting innocent civilians in these regions.

“We are particularly saddened by the resurgence of threats to national security, where violent extremist groups have launched attacks on the civilian population and security personnel, especially in the northeastern and coastal regions of the country,” stated Alhajj Hassan. He further called upon individuals with grievances against the Kenyan state to seek peaceful means of addressing their concerns, urging them to refrain from shedding innocent blood.

Responding to Supkem’s statement, the Kenya Counter Terrorism took to twitter to underscore the crucial role that religious leaders play in combatting terrorism and violent extremism.

“Religious leaders need to continuously play a leading role in fighting terrorism and violent extremism by preaching the correct interpretation of religious texts. They are respected, hence they can advise youth against radicalization,” reads the Tweet.

“The best way to fight terrorism is through a comprehensive approach that includes intelligence gathering, international cooperation, addressing root causes, promoting education and tolerance, and using targeted military action when necessary,” Said, Abdisalam Guled, a security expert in Somalia.

In recent weeks, Al-Shabaab has conducted several attacks in Kenya, resulting in the loss of civilian and security personnel lives. On June 24, 2023, in Salama and Juhudi villages in Mkunumbi Division, Lamu County, at least five men, including a Form Three student at Bakanja Secondary School, were beheaded, and several houses burnt.

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