Kenya Defence Forces [KDF] has deployed to fight and push Al Shabaab militiants out of Boni Forest in Lamu county.
KDF spokesperson Bogita Ongeri told The Star that preparations for the operation were complete and the assault would start today or tomorrow Tuesday.
“We are targeting the militants who are using the forest as a safe haven to train and carry out attacks in the country,” he told the Star on Sunday.
Ongeri said several platoons of the GSU are already in the Basuba area of Lamu East and Garissa’s Ijara area of Garissa, where the operation will be concentrated.
Contingents of GSU and KDF troops were deployed to the area last Friday ahead of what will evidently be a massive operation.
Truckloads of troopers left several GSU camps across the country, and the KDF troops are expected to mount ground and aerial operations.
The operation was to start last Friday, but was delayed by the recent reshuffle of top officials of the National Police Service.
Leaders and residents believe the exercise will go a long way in restoring security in Lamu and across the country.
Last Friday, IG Joseph Boinnet classified Boni Forest as dangerous and asked those living in the area to surrender their weapons to police.
The expansive forest cuts through three counties – Lamu, Garissa and Tana River.
It borders the Indian Ocean and stretches all the way to the Kenya-Somalia border in Lamu and on to Hulugho in Garissa.
The operation comes after attacks in the county, and intelligence on another, and targets the Jeysh Ayman, a 300-member al Shabaab cell operating in the forest.
The militants reportedly tried to overrun Baure military camp in June and later raided a village in Basuba threatening residents not to alert security.
The Star Kenya