5 July 2012

Kenya: 700 Extra Officers Posted to Garissa

Photo: Capital FM
A bomb explosion on Nairobi's Moi Avenue injured more than 40 people, prompting renewed concerns about terrorism.

Nairobi — An additional 700 police officers have been deployed to Garissa and its environs to curb insecurity threats posed by Al Shabaab militants.

Acting Internal Security Minister Yusuf Haji says the officers from the regular and administration police will work jointly with reservists in intensifying security patrols in the border region.

Garissa has lately become the worst hit region by terrorists in the country after Sunday's twin attacks at the AIC and Catholic churches which killed 17 people and wounded more than fifty others.

"We have made special arrangements in stepping up security and this involves more security personnel who have been deployed," Haji said Thursday.

Of the 700 deployment, 300 come from the regular police while 100 are Administration Police officers. They will work closely with 300 local reservists.

Local vigilante groups will also be empowered under the new security arrangement put in place beginning Thursday.

"They will be guarding churches and will be involved in security arrangements because they will work with our officers," Haji who is the country's Defense Minister said.

He was named acting Internal Security Minister three weeks ago following the death of Professor George Saitoti who perished in a helicopter crash in Ngong forest on June 10.

On Thursday, Haji told journalists the government has taken various measures aimed at curbing the country's insecurity cases, including reshuffling more than 50 senior police officers.

North Eastern Provincial Police Chief Leo Nyongesa is among those moved in the changes Haji said were necessitated by terror threats the country is facing.

Nyongesa moves to Police headquarters Complaints Department and will be replaced in North Eastern by Philip Tuimur who has been heading security at all the airports in the country. Grace Kaindi has been moved from the Complaints Department to oversee the airports.

Nyanza PPO Njue Njagi has been promoted and deployed to police headquarters to head operations.

The new Nyanza PPO is Joseph Ole Tito from the Traffic department. Acting Head of Police Operations Alfred Ombaba has been moved to Western Province as PPO.

Joel Kitili who was hounded out of the Presidential Escort earlier this week will now head the national armoury, leaving his State House position to Wanjohi Mwangi of the elite General Service Unit (GSU).

Sources said Kitili's woes follow a disagreement with a member of the first family who demanded that he be moved from there.

Western PPO Benson Kibue who once served as the Head of the Presidential Escort Unit has been re-deployed to head the national Traffic office in Ruaraka.

Kibue was moved from State House under similar circumstances as Kitili.

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