Archbishop Boniface Lele of Mombasa Archdiocese in Kenya expressed support for an incursion by Kenyan troops into Somalia to flush out Al-Shabaab militia. However, he has called for prudence on the Kenyan troops while dealing with the Somali Al-Shabaab militia, which is linked to the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization.
Archbishop Lele, who is also Chairman of the Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Sea-Fearers, reportedly said in an interview, “We have a responsibility to defend ourselves, hence I support the troops getting into Somalia.”
For their part, the Somali insurgents want Kenya to immediately withdraw troops from Somalia or face a “bloody war.” The statement from the extremist group said that the allegations that they posed a significant threat to the Kenyan population were a flimsy pretext for the Kenyan military’s incursion into Somalia. The group accused Kenya of forcibly recruiting refugees and training militia along the border for several years and interfering in Somalia’s internal and external affairs. “The recent incursion of Kenyan troops into Somali territory, however, not only highlights Kenya’s imprudence in sending her non combat-tested troops to become entangled in Somalia’s intricate web of war, but also a willful negligence towards her citizens,” the militants declared.
The Al Shabaab militants warned the Kenyan public that the decision by their troops to cross the border into Somalia will not be without severe repercussions, threatening a bloody battle that will disrupt the social equilibrium and bring destruction to the local economy. The militants said, “…Do not entrust the fate of your country to a few sabre-rattling politicians. It is your government and the choice is in your hands.”
The insurgent group categorically denied all charges pertaining to the kidnapping of tourists and aid workers from Kenya. “The allegations put forward by the Kenyan authorities with regard to the recent kidnappings are, at best, unfounded and, apart from the mere conjectural corroborations, not substantiated with any verifiable evidence. They are not in any way, shape or form attributable to Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen,” the militants said.
Kenya publicly declared an attack on the al-Shabab two days after armed militants kidnapped two Spanish aid workers with the group Doctors without Borders from the Dadaab refugee camp where almost 500,000 Somalis live. On October 1, Somali gunmen took a wheelchair-bound Frenchwoman from her home near the resort town of Lamu.