The twin attack of Kenya's town by an armed gang has exposed the country’s soft security underbelly. Mpeketoni town--which is around 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the border with Somalia--has experienced brutal attacks that have seen a police station besieged, civilians randomly shot at, several buildings including hotels, restaurants, banks and government offices torched and over 60 people dead. The fact that the country’s security mechanisms have reached the scene of crime long after the departure of the perpetrators who have taken several hours to unleash the mayhem is alarming.
The country’s security and intelligence bodies must up their ante, work with seasoned external intelligence organs and involve other local stakeholders. Scrutiny should also be put on loopholes that breed extremism and shield perpetrators from surveillance. Kenyans and those who reside in Kenya should be accorded their deserved security as they go about their livelihood endeavors, exchange goods and services, and pursue their dreams. Their lives must not be sacrificed on the altar of politics, inaction and casual perceptions. Kenyans are not mere statistics. The government must do its job.