13 November 2012

Kenya: Kibaki Deploys Kenyan Military to Samburu

Baragoi residents have begun to flee the area after the arrival of the troops in the region. The government deployed security forces to track down ... ( Resource: Residents in Northwest Kenya Flee Army )

Nairobi — The National Security Council chaired by President Mwai Kibaki has ordered the deployment of the Kenyan Military to flush out bandits who killed police officers and stole their arms.

A statement issued from the Office of the President on Tuesday night said the council had "authorised the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to be deployed in Samburu County and other areas to provide support to Kenya Police Service in apprehending the bandits and recovering stolen animals and arms."

The council meeting which made the resolution was also attended by Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

Under the constitution, the national Security Council also comprises of the Ministers for Defence, Foreign Affairs, Internal Security, the Attorney General, Chief of Defence Forces, the Director of the National Intelligence Services and the Police Chief.

"The National Security Council regretted and condemned the heinous act of killing law enforcement officers," the statement said, adding "The National Security Council directed all national security organs to liaise closely in restoring peace and security in the area."

"The Council also directed the fast tracking of peace, reconciliation and disarmament exercises in all the affected areas countrywide," it added.

The Council also sought to re-assure the public that "everything will be done to ensure the culprits are apprehended and dealt with in accordance with the law."

The directive by the council followed the killing of police officers who were ambushed in Suguta Valley, Samburu County on Saturday as they pursued stolen animals.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere told journalists earlier on Tuesday that the officers were ambushed as they headed for a security operation to flush out bandits and recover animals they had stolen from manyattas in Samburu.

"The operational strategy was okay, but it is unfortunate because they were ambushed two kilometers from the manyatta they were headed to recover the animals. It appears the strategy leaked to the bandits," Iteere said.

Some civil society organizations led by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) have called for Iteere's resignation, but he has vowed to stay put.

"I am not to blame; the nitty gritty of the operation strategy are left to the commanders on the ground. Those calling for my resignation are exercising their constitutional right. They are entitled to their opinion," he said.

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