NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 -The government has now deployed the military to Mandera to disarm both local and foreign militia which has been reigning terror on residents there.
Deputy President William Ruto said it has become necessary to send the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to the border towns because police have been unable to tackle the insecurity menace. Military personnel will also be deployed to Garissa and Wajir.
“The government on our part, we have agreed that we are going to increase the presence of security personnel in the county and already last (Friday) night we did get the military to post men who are already present in the county to disarm all militias; both local and foreign in the county,” Ruto said on Saturday when he met Members of Parliament from North Eastern Province.
The meeting was called following Friday’s fighting between militiamen from the Garre and Degodia clans which left eight people dead and more than 20 others wounded.
“We have agreed unanimously with all these leaders that they will support the government efforts to turn around the security situation in the county and make sure that all hostility going around in Mandera county is brought to an end,” the deputy President affirmed.
He further said that the government intends to engage Ethiopian authorities to ensure that foreign militia does not keep on crossing the border to the Kenyan side.
“We have also agreed to engage with the friendly government of Ethiopia to deal with the militia situation in Mandera County. Already a diplomatic engagement is going to be initiated to deal with the matter within the border,” he said.
The deputy president said he had instructed the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo to send more police officers to the region to guarantee locals of their security after most schools failed to re-open for fear of attacks.
“About 15 schools have not opened for second term. We directed security officers to ensure all affected schools are facilitated to re-open and for children to go back to their respective schools,” he added.
The government has assured that it will assist in the provision of food and non- food items to the 5000 persons currently displaced by the skirmishes in the County and also assist them resettle back to their homes.
The Mandera County governor Ali Ibrahim appealed to the residents to maintain peace saying it was vital for continued development of the country.
“We can’t have militias ruling any part of the country. I therefore, urge the residents to work closely with the police in disarming those within them who have weapons, as the situation currently is unacceptable,” Ibrahim appealed.
He further said that, “we want to continue delivering services to our people, let’s maintain peace so that we can start serving the population in this new devolved era of governance.”
Tension remains high in the area despite heavy deployments of security forces to Rhamu town where Friday’s attacks occurred.