Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki has declared total war against bandits and outlined a number of measures the security agencies intend to take in order to vanquish the outlaws.
Among others, the CS has ordered those living in banditry-prone areas in Baringo, Laikipia, Samburu and Turkana to vacate their homes, and warned that those who will not have done so by today will be treated just like the bandits.
Prof Kindiki says security agencies have now gathered enough intelligence and promised that the second phase of the operation would permanently deal with the criminals.
Such tough talk has not been uncommon since President William Ruto declared the security situation in the north a national emergency on February 13 and ordered deployment of the military to help tackle the menace.
And although the security personnel have been doing their best, it is apparent the war is far from over. In some parts of the troubled areas, the presence of security officers has done little to deter the bandits who have gone ahead to rob, maim and even kill their victims.
The change of tact is therefore welcome. On this mission, the nation is solidly behind the security agencies. They must do everything possible to get rid of this nuisance once and for all.
We doubt that any right-minded Kenyan would complain if the bandits were bombed in the hideouts. These criminals are not only a threat to residents of the affected counties but also to the law enforcers, who continue to lose their lives while battling them.
Therefore, as the security officers goes after these criminals, Dr Kindiki, who has said the State would shut its ‘ears and eyes' to human rights activists, oversight bodies, and the media, should not be worried—so long as this operation is conducted within the law.
As long as the security personnel keep their hands and guns off civilians, this operation will win nothing but praises from Kenyans. But if they hurt innocent people, who are already tormented by bandits, activists and journalists will have no option but to scream until the State opens its eyes and ears.
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