12 September 2017

Burundi: Kenya Arrests Burundi Nationals While Headed to Join Al-Shabaab

Photo: Manase Otsialo/Daily Nation
Kenyan soldiers on guard as the erection of a security fence along the Kenya-Somalia border goes on.

Four Burundi nationals were Tuesday morning arrested at Merile area along Isiolo-Marsabit Highway, Isiolo County while headed to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab militia.

Police say the men had traveled from Bujumbura to Kenya as tourists. They then embarked on a journey that would take them through Isiolo, Mandera and later cross to Somalia.

They were stopped at a roadblock at about 4 am Tuesday and on being grilled they allegedly said they were headed for Somalia to join the terror group.

Those arrested were identified as Ntakarutimana Benerd, 41, Niyongere Yusuf, 32, Nshimirimana Fulgnce Shadady, 31 and Bizoza Abderauf, 20.

Police involved in the operation said they had intelligence to show the group's mission and that some of them had confessed on the same.

They were taken into custody for grilling, a senior officer said in Nairobi. In June, five Kenyan youths were arrested in the same area while headed for Somalia to join the same group.

This comes as reports show a number of Kenyans who went to Somalia to fight with Al-Shabaab militia want to come back to Kenya over a fallout.

A confidential police report shows the Kenyans include Ahmed Iman Ali aka Abu Zinira, together with at least five other senior Kenyan Al-Shabaab fighters.

According to the report, some of his loyal followers likely to accompany him in his defection include: Juma Ayub Otit Were aka KB, Erick Achayo Ogada aka Nabhan, Ramadhan Kioko aka Pinji aka Abu Nuseiba, Suleiman Irungu Mwangi aka Karongo aka Maalim Zakariya aka Idriss and Mohamed Tajir Ali aka Wahome.

The five have been on Kenya's police watch list and have a Sh2 million bounty each on their heads.

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