Kenya will not be intimidated by terrorists and will not withdraw troops from Somalia, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
The statement comes a day after two blasts that killed three people and left 86 others injured on Sunday evening in Nairobi.
"The Government will not allow terrorists to dictate or blackmail us into changing our local or foreign policy. We will not withdraw until Somalia has a stable and secure government free from terror," Mr Ruto said on Monday.
The Deputy President said recalling Kenyan troops will provide a safe haven for criminals to recruit and arm terrorists in Somalia who will eventually pose an even greater risk to Kenya and the region.
"Because of the remarkable success of our effort in Somalia, al Shabaa operational bases have been substantially weakened," he said.
According to the Deputy President, Al-Shabaab are unable to confront the country's security agencies directly and have resorted to soft targets to pressure Kenya into relenting and withdrawing from Somalia.
"The Kenya Defence Forces was deployed into Somalia to dismantle Al Shabaab operations, networks, training and indoctrination bases, which posed grave danger to Kenya and the region.
"But the singular fact that cannot be denied is that our troops in Somalia have greatly destabilised Al Shabaab’s operations and created relative peace and security in that country," Mr Ruto added.
He was speaking during a Press conference at his office on Harambee Avenue in Nairobi on Monday.
The Deputy President also urged the Judiciary to be firm in the war against terrorism.
He said records indicate that many terror suspects have absconded bail and put themselves beyond the reach of law enforcement.
Some of the suspects named are Fuad Abubakar Maswab, who is believed to have fled to Somalia whilst out on a Sh10 million bond and his co-accused Jermaine John Grant who had been arrested while in possession of explosives.
Mr Ruto also noted that two other suspects Jamal Mohamed Awadh and Suleiman Mohammed Sayyed were similarly on bond and their families confirmed that they both died on May 3, 2014, while executing a bomb attack in Mombasa.
"Those who have fled to Somalia intend to continue their terror activities. While they are abroad, the cases against them cannot proceed, seriously impairing the quest for justice and law enforcement," he said.
At least 22 people are said to be terrorism suspects out on bond operating freely among the innocent and peaceful citizens.
Mr Ruto warned that the Government is aware of the existence a local network of sympathisers and facilitators residing among the general population and just like terrorists, they will face consequences.
The National Security Intelligence, National Police Service and Criminal Investigations Department were noted as a coherent, indivisible operation and Mr Ruto said said because of this synergy, innumerable criminal activities—including planned terror attacks— have been disrupted.
"Our collective security is a shared responsibility; every person must play his or her part in maintaining unwavering vigilance. All arms of Government must play their full part, and every citizen must also fulfill their patriotic obligations, " Mr Ruto said.
He reiterated the need for Kenyans to take a keen interest in what is going on around them, and be ready to provide information to security agencies on suspicious activities.
Courtesy of Nation Digital
Eighty seven Kenyans are believed to be dead and another 181 admitted to hospital after taking an industrial chemical, methanol.
After testing some samples of the drinks that have devastated six counties, government scientists discovered that a sample from Makueni, where 16 people have died with 75 still in hospital, was 100 per cent methanol. A sample from the Embu drink was 70 per cent methanol.
Methanol, used in manufacturing as a solvent, can get people drunk, but it is a deadly poison.
The government experts want to test all samples and carry out postmortems before conclusively establishing the cause of death.
Health Cabinet Secretary James said: “The Makueni sample under the brand name “Countryman” had 100 per cent methanol content against 0 per cent normal requirement while the one from Embu had 70 per cent of the poison. We want to be certain that all the samples have been analysed. We shall expect the law enforcement agencies to take further action.”
According to Mr Macharia, five bottles of “Countryman” from Makueni contained methanol, which is never used in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages.
Scientists at the Government Chemist said their findings are not conclusive because they are yet to receive samples from all the affected areas.
Methanol is a type of alcohol used in industries, but which is unfit for human consumption.
One of the 10 patients admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital is in a coma three days after patrons drank the deadly liquor in six counties.
KNH Chief Pharmacist Tom Menge yesterday said: “We suspect the patients consumed alcohol that could have been adulterated with methanol because they complained of abdominal pain and blurred vision while others lost their sight or went into a coma.”
Dr Menge is also a toxicologist, a scientist who studies the nature and effects of poisons and their treatment, and said alcohol poisoning can be reversed if a patient is taken to a health facility and the correct antidote given.
“An antidote of ethanol is given to neutralise the effect of poisoning, and this could prevent loss of sight and other adverse effects to internal organs like the liver if it had not already happened,” he said.
The patients at Kenyatta had acute poisoning, meaning they had taken large doses of poison.
Dr Menge told the Nation that patients admitted to the referral hospital presented with signs of acute “shortness of breath, dilation of pupils and blurred vision, convulsions, dizziness, severe abdominal pain and vomiting are some of the signs of methanol poisoning.”
Methanol is so poisonous that a teaspoon of the chemical in its pure form is enough to burn the optic nerve and cause blindness. Three teaspoons are potentially fatal.
Public health experts warn that backyard distilleries using primitive processes might be making drinks with very lethal levels of methanol.
The National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) boss John Mututho said Kenyans have been socialised to believe that they cannot have fun without alcohol.
“An alcoholic cannot help taking alcohol... If they are rehabilitated, then you reduce the demand for alcohol,” Mr Mututho, whose favourite drink is milk, said.
He proposed what he called “mass rehabilitation” where alcoholics countrywide can be brought under one roof and professional counsellors called in to take them through a 90-day recovery programme.
After this, he proposes enrolling them into the National Youth Service for three months, where they will get a sense of discipline. “Afterwards, give them a job, or teach them a skill that will help them to generate income,” he said.
WHAT MAKES THE CHEMICAL HARMFUL
- Methanol is converted in into formic acid in the body.
- The earliest signs of methanol poisoning can be hard to distinguish from the normal effects of alcohol.
- Within an hour you can develop mild symptoms similar to alcohol intoxication, which includes nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
- After 12 to 24 hours, one may get a splitting headache and blurred vision, which may later lead to loss of sight.
- If not attended to at a health centre, abdominal pains develop.
- The liver is later damaged and kidney failure follows.
- Problems with your heart and circulation are experienced. Nerve and brain damage occur before a person goes into a coma.
- This eventually leads to death
Courtesy of Nation Digital