Boni Forest operation extended to Lamu villages

Herders have been ordered to move out of the area within seven days.

Thursday December 31 2015

A map of parts of Lamu County. Linda Boni

A map of parts of Lamu County. Linda Boni Operation has been extended to Bodhei, Pandanguo, Witu, Pangani in the county. GRAPHIC | GOOGLE MAPS 

By KALUME KAZUNGU
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Security operation in Boni Forest has been extended to villages in Lamu County.

Operation Linda Boni Director Mr James ole Serian said they will conduct a major operation and asked pastoralists from other counties, particularly Tana River and Garissa, move out of four areas within seven days.

Speaking to the Nation on Thursday, Mr Serian said they held a meeting with the herders in the presence of Lamu County Security Committee as well as top police officers from Hindi, Mpeketoni and Witu.

“We held a meeting with the herders on Wednesday. We informed them that we are extending Operation Linda Boni to Bodhei, Pandanguo, Witu, Pangani and the surrounding areas.

“We told those from other counties to leave the area within one week," he said.

Operation Linda Boni was launched on September 11 this year by Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery.

The operation intends to flush out Al-Shabaab said to be hiding in the expansive Boni Forest.

Areas that were earlier targeted for the operation are Holugho border point, Galmagala, Sangailu, Ijara, Masalani, Bodhei, Milimani, Basuba, Kiunga, Mararani, Baure and Ishakani.

The operation was to be carried out within 90 days but was extended and is expected to last for more than a year.

The extension of the Linda Boni Operation to Bodhei, Pandanguo, Witu, Pangani and the surrounding areas comes days after attacks in Milihoi, Mambo Sasa and Bodhei.

On December 16, two people were killed and an AP officer injured at Milihoi in Lamu County. The attack is suspected to have been carried out by the Al-Shabaab.

On Christmas, an AP officer was killed when their vehicle was attacked with an Improvised Explosive Device at Bodhei.

On the same day, police thwarted a planned attack on five buses heading to Lamu from Mombasa at the Mambo Sasa Forest in Witu.

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