12 January 2013

Kenya: Kimaiyo May Seek KDF Help in Tana Delta

The police will seek the assistance of the military and other government agencies to end the hostilities in Tana Delta in which more than 170 people have died since last year.

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo blamed the conflict on politics. "The motive is a desire to completely displace one of the communities for political reasons. This could also explain why the violence has escalated as we approach the general election and the terror needlessly visited on women and children," Kimaiyo said.

He directed the CID to increase the number of intelligence officers and detectives on the ground to help in assembling adequate evidence against the perpetrators of the violence.

He said adequate law enforcement officers had been deployed in the region to act as a deterrent. However, he conceded that the police alone may not be able to effectively manage the situation and would seek the assistance of other government agencies including the judiciary, the Witness Protection Agency,the provincial administration and "if it must be, the Kenya Defence Forces.'

Kimaiyo later issued a one-line statement retracting his suggestion that the military be deployed. This is because Parliament's approval is required before such deploy

Kimaiyo expounded on what the police considered to be the cause of hostilities but was less forthcoming about what action the police will undertake to end the fighting.

He blamed the Orma and Pokomo communities of not co-operating with the police to identify those responsible for the violence. He was also not forthcoming as to whether more policemen will be deployed to reinforce the 2,000 assigned to the region in September last year following the Kilelengweni massacre in which 38 people were killed.

A dusk to dawn curfew imposed by President Kibaki at the same time does not seem to have ended the hostilities which have continued to escalate and become even more brutal.

Kimaiyo gave reasons why the police had not been able to collect enough evidence to prosecute the 35 people who had so far been arrested over the violence. He cited as reasons the reluctance by the communities to share information and religious considerations which saw victims buried immediately denying the police an opportunity to carry out post-mortem examinations.

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