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Curfew on North Eastern and coastal counties lifted


Interior Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Nkaissery has lifted the curfew on Mandera, Wajir, Lamu, Garissa and Tana River counties.

Maj Gen (Rtd) Nkaissery said the curfew would not apply during the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan and that the government would monitor the situation for a review.

On June 19, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the cabinet secretary to review the curfew in the five counties to enable Muslims fulfill their religious obligations without any impediment.

The President also asked Mr Nkaissery and Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet to enhance security throughout the country during the period.

“Aware that the enemies of our country may wish to exploit this season, I call upon the entire Muslim fraternity and its leadership to remain vigilant and co-operate fully with the security agencies to make this holy month safe,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta’s directive came just four days after two soldiers and 16 Al-Shabaab terrorists died following an attack at the Kenya Defence Forces military camp in Baure.

Just before Ramadhan, began, Mr Boinnet placed security forces on high alert following reports that Al-Shabaab militants were planning attacks in the country.

Mr Boinnet said the terrorist group was planning to hit security personnel, government installations, religious institutions, schools, colleges and universities.

UNDER PRESSURE

The Interior Ministry has been under pressure from businesspeople, religious leaders and politicians to lift the curfew in north-eastern and coastal regions.

Opposition politicians had also given the government an ultimatum to lift the curfew and threatened to move to court.

Meanwhile, a man was arraigned for being an Al-Shabaab member and planning attacks on Kenya.

However, the Nyeri court did not allow Mr Alex Kimaru Waruguru to take plea after the prosecution requested for more time to carry out investigations.

Mr Waruguru was charged with planning to attack various institutions countrywide. He denied the accusations, saying he was a trader.

The prosecutor said Mr Waruguru was apprehended on June 24 at Manyatta Village in Moyale, Marsabit County on his way to Somalia.

Mr Waruguru was taken to Nyeri Police Station on Thursday where he was booked for being an Al-Shabaab member.

The prosecution requested the court not to allow the accused to take plea because Mr Waruguru was still being interrogated.

Mr Waruguru denied the charge, saying he was selling shoes on June 24 when he was arrested.

The court ordered the accused to be detained at Nyeri Police Station as requested by the prosecution.