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President Uhuru deploys KDF soldiers to battle bandits after weeks of pain, tears

By PSCU | Published Sat, March 18th 2017 at 00:00, Updated March 17th 2017 at 23:23 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of honour during the pass-out ceremony of police recruits at Administration Police Training College, Embakasi, Nairobi

President Uhuru Kenyatta has deployed the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to beef up security in parts of Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Pokot and Laikipia counties.

He announced that the National Security Council – which he chairs – has authorised the immediate deployment of KDF to support the National Police Service in restoration of law and order in the disturbed areas.

“The deployment will further assist in disarmament and surrender of illegally held arms,” President Kenyatta said.

He spoke yesterday at the Administration Police Training College, Embakasi, while presiding over the passing-out of 3,985 officers who had completed their nine-month training.

Enemies of the State

President Kenyatta said those who have defied orders to surrender illegal firearms are enemies of the State and will be dealt with accordingly.

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He said the continued deterioration of security in the affected areas has necessitated the involvement of the military.

“Today, we held a session as the National Security Council and agreed to authorise the Kenya Defence Forces to immediately get in and lend support to the National Police in terms of manpower and equipment so as to restore security and deal with those who continue to threaten the lives of Kenyans,” said the President.

He affirmed his administration’s commitment to guaranteeing the safety of citizens and their property as enshrined in the Constitution.

“Assuring citizens of safety and order is the pre-eminent duty of any nation. It is a foundational function – one which almost every other function of the Government and society depends on,” said President Kenyatta.

The President said the Government has invested heavily in providing police with better equipment, better working facilities, more vehicles and helicopters to support efficient operations.

He said the police force thrives on meritocracy where advancement is based on excellence and misdeeds are duly punished.

“We have enhanced the quality of training received by police forces and you have been beneficiaries of those improvements,” the President told the graduating officers.

He said the Government has also invested in training more police officers and increased the police-citizen ratio to one police for every 380 citizens, up from 1:800 in a span of just three years.

Noting that there is still work to be done in the security sector, the President said the last three years of action by his administration constitute a beginning, not an end.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said the new officers will be posted to rural outposts to deal with, among other things, cattle rustling, counter-terrorism and other banditry activities.