, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – Top military chiefs say Kenya Defence Forces soldiers have been deployed to the clash-torn Kapedo to assist the police in taming insecurity in the area.
Vice Chief of Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Samson Mwathethe, says the decision was warranted by the wave of attacks that have rocked the area – most recently being the killing of 21 Administration Police Officers.
“We are just going to assist the police in whatever they are doing, we will assist them in carrying out the operation. KDF has a mandate under section 241(3c) of the Constitution to participate in making sure that the country is safe,” said Mwathethe.
Section 241 of the Constitution outlines the establishment of the Kenya Defence Forces with section 3 outlining its responsibilities which are, “to be responsible for the defence and protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the republic, to assist and cooperate with other authorities in situations of emergency or disaster, and report to the National Assembly whenever deployed in such circumstances and may be deployed to restore peace in any part of Kenya affected by unrest or instability only with the approval of the National Assembly.”
“On the specific area of Marsabit, Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu, I believe there is a go-ahead that was given by Parliament on the 5th of December 2013 and with that approval by Parliament we are allowed to make sure that we work together with the National Police Service in making sure that those places are free from trouble,” Mwathethe added.
Kapedo has been in the limelight following an ambush by bandits on security forces and civilians leading to the loss of 27 lives in recent weeks.
Already three leaders from the region have been charged in court over incitement. Those charged include Baringo County Assembly Speaker Kassait Kamket and two county assembly members who denied the charges saying their arrest was politically motivated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta who visited the area on Sunday warned the residents to name those behind the attacks.
“The leaders must identify and bring out those involved; all those firearms and uniforms stolen from the officers must be returned,” he said.
President Kenyatta turned down a request by Pokot elders to be given two weeks to expose the criminals saying they should turn them in immediately.
Meanwhile, the military top brass has strongly condemned the attack on the Nyali Barracks, terming it an unfortunate incident that should not be repeated.
The attack resulted in the death of one KDF soldier who was hacked by the machete wielding attackers.
“When you approach any military barracks, the readiness is the same, any attempt will be met with the force that the one in Nyali was met with,” Mwathethe warned.
Six of 10 of the attackers were killed with one arrest.
He now says they are currently probing the matter hoping that the arrested suspect will give credible information that could lead to the arrest of his colleagues.