CS Kindiki banking on new air assets to fight banditry

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki toured Lokori are in Turkana East Constituency. [File, Standard]

The government is set to deploy modern air equipment to help fight the banditry menace in the North Rift region, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has said.

Addressing journalists in Lodwar, Kindiki said they have acquired armored air assets to support a ground offensive against bandits in the region.

Kindiki met four Turkana MPs and security teams to discuss and assess the security situation in the county after two people were killed last night and dozens of livestock stolen in Lokori, Turkana East sub-county.

A closed-door meeting also highlighted the progress of the ongoing security operations in the North Rift banditry hotspots.

The Interior CS said there had been progress in combating banditry in the Kerio Valley region, but admitted that they had experienced some challenges which they were addressing.

He said so far, out of 6,800 livestock that were stolen over the last six months, at least 5,000 had been recovered.

Some additional 2,000 goats and sheep were recovered and handed over to the owners.

The CS said they have deployed additional police reservists in the seven sub-counties to boost security.

He said some administrative units that were gazetted recently including Aroo, Suguta and Lokiriama sub-counties will be operational in the next two weeks.

He said they have  acquired more modernized armoured vehicles that will be deployed to Turkana and other volatile areas to fight bandits and cattle thieves.

“These ground armoured vehicles will be supported by air assets that will help in fighting bandits and recovery of livestock. We don’t want a situation where our officers will be exposed to bandits. They will be protected by armoured vehicles,” Kindiki said. 

The CS added that a security team from Turkana East sub county in support of the County security personnel have been deployed to track down bandits and recover stolen livestock.

“These air assets are armoured. They have the capability to carry out air combat in coordination with the ground. That is the only language that bandits and cattle thieves will understand,” Kindiki said.

But Kindiki said the approach requires concerted efforts from leadership and other stakeholders to stamp out banditry menace in the region.

The CS revealed that they were engaging in high level diplomatic discussions with the neighbouring Countries to address cross border conflicts including the release of the 42 Kenyans jailed in Uganda.

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