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Duale says state to deploy special forces in war on bandits

 Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale has announced plans by the government to deploy special forces in seven North Rift counties to deal with bandits.

Speaking at Friends Moi Kaptama Girls Secondary School in Mount Elgon during a funds drive, Duale reiterated President William Ruto's commitment to eradicate banditry.

"This government is resolute in ending banditry and criminal activities across the country. As the CS for Defence, I assure Kenyans that whether deploying our special forces or other means, we will decisively address banditry in the North Rift counties," he said.

Counties affected by banditry attacks include Laikipia, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Turkana, and Samburu.

The CS warned that bandits would be dealt with in the same manner the government was dealing with Al-Shabaab along the Somalia border.

At the same time, he cautioned against drug abuse among potential KDF recruits. "We cannot tolerate drug addiction within our forces. Those aspiring to join must refrain from excessive alcohol and drug consumption," he said.

Duale commended President Ruto for his transformative leadership, noting peace and currency stability in the country.

He also praised Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi's crackdown on counterfeit fertiliser dealers saying those undermining the government's subsidy programme must face the law.

The Defence CS pledged the government's support for Azimio leader Raila Odinga's bid for the African Union Commission Chairman, despite political differences.

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa noted the significant financial resources expended by the Kenyan government in combating banditry which has disrupted essential services in the North Rift counties.

"Of the 290 constituencies, only a few are affected by banditry-related school closures. We must employ all means to tackle this menace," Barasa said.

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