23 February 2013

Kenya: Security Team Ready for Polls in North Rift

Security has been beefed up in most parts of the North Rift region ahead of the March 4 elections. The government has deployed security officers in all the polling stations to ensure maximum security during the campaign period.

Additional officers have been sent to Pokot, Turkana and Baringo counties where insecurity has displaced more than 15,000 people. Uasin Gishu county commissioner Abdi Hassan said on Friday security arrangements have been completed with nine days before Kenyans go to the polls.

"We are set and residents should not be worried," said Abdi. "We assure Kenyans and the electoral officials that they can go about their chores without worrying about security."

County commissioners in the region have been asked to asses the security situation and ask for reinforcement if need arises. Meanwhile, NCIC has put in place a "rapid response mechanism" to deal with any security emergency during the election period.

Vice chairperson Milly Lwanga on Friday said they have teamed up with civil society groups countrywide and forged a network that will monitor the situation during the elections.

"We will activate quick response through the network and liaise with the police," said Lwanga. She said NCIC has a put in place a robust monitoring system, "but hope Kenyans will be peaceful during the polls."

Lwanga said they would continue with peace initiatives in parts of Rift Valley hot spots ahead of the elections and also in other regions of the country. The road shows aimed at sensitizing residents on the need to keep peace during the polls will start off in Naivasha.

"We received reports about some tensions in Naivasha and that is why we are moving there to hold the peace caravan and work with communities in that area for peace," said Lwanga who was speaking in Eldoret after attending a training for police officers who will be deployed to monitor hate speech during the polls.

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