Kenya will revive the joint cross-border meetings between communities living in the country and neighbouring Somalia in a bid to combat increased cases of violent extremism.
Wajir County, a region bordering Somalia, has experienced five terror attacks in the past three months, the highest record in recent months.
On Monday, a team of security officers who were on a routine foot patrol in Kutulo escaped unhurt after a home-made bomb that had been planted along Tarbaj-Kutulo road exploded.
“In the light of the recent Al-Shabaab attacks in Wajir County, we have decided the county security team should re-strategise by use of elders and communities living in areas most affected by the attacks,” said Wajir County Commissioner Jacob Narengo.
Tarbaj and Wajir East sub-counties have experienced a spike in Shabaab attacks in the last few months.
Mr Narengo said the new strategy is aimed at improving surveillance and enhancing intelligence gathering which will help security agencies prevent attacks.
He called on the elders and the community to co-operate with the security agencies to ensure peace is restored in the county.
“We urge the same elders to co-operate with law enforcement agencies and local administrators by voluntarily sharing information which will allow security agencies to act on time,” he added.
The county commissioner also directed all chiefs and assistant chiefs to operate from their areas of jurisdiction to ensure that any vital information is relayed to the county security team on time.
“We’ve had cases where a number of chiefs operate from Wajir town and leave wananchi on their own and I now direct them to go back and serve the community,” he said.
He also ordered police reservists to stick to their areas of jurisdiction in order to enhance security in the villages.
When asked about the whereabouts of the six residents who were recently kidnapped from the county by suspected Al-Shabaab militants, Mr Narengo said that they are currently in the hands of their abductors, adding that the government has begun joint meetings with the local elders to ensure their safe return to the country.
By The Eastafrica