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Matiang’i issues warning to leaders in clash-torn areas

By Allan Mungai | January 20th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i addresses the Press after a meeting with North-Eastern leaders to discus security at KICD in Nairobi, yesterday. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

The government has said it will invoke the Public Order Act in parts of Isiolo, Garissa and Wajir counties if violence continues.

The Ministry of Interior said it will begin disarmament in the three counties to recover illegal guns held by civilians.

The public

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and the top brass in the police and National Government Administration yesterday met with political leaders from Isiolo, Wajir and Garissa over the violence that has left at least eight people dead.

Matiangi’i noted that disputes over electoral and administrative boundaries fuel inter-communal clashes in the region and promised action, including dismissal of chiefs who have overstepped their jurisdictional boundaries.

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Point fingers

He also blamed politics for conflict over water and pasture.

“When we are moving towards an election, you see an escalation in inter-communal tensions, some of them relating to pasture. But if we are being sincere, some have a relation to political activity,” the CS said.

The three-hour meeting at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi was called to discuss security and administrative issues.

Present were governors Ali Korane (Garissa), Mohamed Kuti (Isiolo), Mohamed Abdi Mohamud (Wajir), Garissa Town MP Aden Duale, Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo, Nominated Senator Abshiro Halakhe and Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi.

The government plans to deploy more police officers in Isiolo as well as increase operational bases along the border to curb insecurity.

The CS also instructed the regional and county commissioners to ensure that chiefs are in their jurisdiction.

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i at KICD on January 19, 2021. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

Matiang’i said the police are conducting an audit of the National Police Reserve to find out how they have been used and how to engage them better.

He said this will be followed by an aggressive disarmament exercise. 

“It is possible that in some parts of the country we have arms in the wrong hands. We will conduct that exercise very aggressively soon.

The IG and team are working on the plan and we will begin working on the problem,” Matiang’i said.

The CS warned politicians against making inflammatory statements that incite the public to violence.

“I know that when there is conflict, passions are inflamed and there is a temptation to point fingers even using language that could inflame passions further and worsen the conflict,” he said.

Matiang’i also censured radio stations that are being used to spread hate speech and agenda of neighbouring countries that are in conflict with Kenya.

“We cannot have radio stations on air that are spewing hatred and spreading anti-government propaganda, some of it actually in support of neighbouring governments that are in conflict with us,” he said.

The meeting came as administrators in Isiolo said the government has established a police station in Isiolo South constituency to check insecurity in Eldera.

Conflict has been raging at the Garbatulla - Lagdera boundary between Isiolo and Garissa where communities clashed over establishment of a settlement at Kambi Samaki and installation of an assistant chief.

Isiolo has also accused Wajir of extending its boundary and creating Hadatho sub-Location.

Governors of the warring regions committed to ensure the violence ends.

Meanwhile, Matiang’i warned that the government will deal firmly with bandits at the border of Baringo and Turkana counties.

The CS said the killing of GSU Operation Commander Emadau Tebakol in Kapedo on Sunday was a clear case of premeditated ambush.

KICD Interior CS Fred Matiang'i
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