Once again, al-Shabaab militants laid an ambush and unleashed terror on a police vehicle along Malindi- Lamu road, killing one civilian and injuring at least five police officers. Details are still scant but the continued horrifying terror attacks on Kenyan soil are worrying. It demonstrates that the Shabaab militants and networks remain intact and lethal despite concerted government efforts to exterminate them.
In the past few weeks, the militants have attacked various places especially in northern Kenya and the Coast. Only last week, they demolished a Safaricom communications mast in Wajir.
A few days before, they raided El Wak in Mandera County and killed security officers.
The increasing frequency is a pointer that the gangs are up to a target and, unless drastic steps are taken, we may be in for more brutal and widespread al-Shabaab killings.
The notoriety of the acts becomes manifest considering what happened in El Adde in Somalia exactly two years ago. Then the militants raided a Kenyan camp and killed dozens of soldiers operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom). At this time when Kenyans remember that brutal attack, the security agencies must keep vigil and forestall recurrence of such acts.
On a much broader perspective, Kenya should rethink the wisdom of continued stay of its forces in Somalia. After nearly seven years of the operation, the country needs an honest discussion about its viability and implication on our national security. We must also review internal operations like those at the Coast that were set up to provide rapid response and contain the militants.