We applaud the decision by Parliament to grant the President’s request to deploy the military in troubled areas of the country to restore law and order.
This is a stop-gap measure to end the slaughter in Marsabit, Moyale, Turkana and other counties experiencing insecurity. While this is in order, the National Police Service must take the flak for the incompetence and inefficiency that has allowed lawlessness to flourish. Ordinarily, the army should only come out of the barracks when there is an external threat to Kenya’s territorial integrity. However, we recognise that there is a lot of desperation in the said parts of the country.
As the military prepares to pacify the counties, here is a word of caution. The last time military was deployed in within the borders of the country to flush out the Sabaot Land Defence Force in Mt Elgon District, it left a trail of human rights violations. It should not be repeated in areas where insecurity has taken root. The deployment should also be time-bound as the risk of escalating insecurity to a full-scale war is equally high. These are corridors the Al Shaabab terror group has been using to move their lethal weapons.
It must shame security agencies that they slept on the job as political leaders assembled militia to fight each other. If allegations made in Parliament are true, the government must also turn its spotlight on the war mongers.
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We urge President Uhuru Kenyatta to demonstrate intolerance to these so-called ‘political warlords’, some of who are said to dine and wine with him.