, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 1 – At least seven police officers were killed and several others are still missing following another attack by raiders in Turkana county on Friday night.
Reports from Turkana indicate that the officers were ambushed by attackers believed to be Pokot raiders who also burnt their vehicle.
The number of those missing was placed at 17, including Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) whose fate remains unknown.
“The fatalities of police officers from the Friday incident is seven,” a senior police officer told Capital FM News, but referred us to Police Headquarters for further details.
But when reached for comment, Police Spokeswoman Gatiria Mboroki only confirmed there was an attack in the area but could not give further details, citing communication challenges with officers on the ground.
“I have been trying to get details from the ground but we have challenges due to network issues,” she said, “you will be the first to know as soon as we have the report with us.”
A major security operation was underway in the troubled county on Saturday, raising serious security concerns, since the incident occurred barely a week after five other people were killed in the same area, including three police officers.
Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo was understood to be making plans to tour the area to coordinate the security operation, but insiders say he had been advised to put his planned visit on hold “because the ground is still volatile.”
“More police officers have been deployed to assist in the search of the missing officers and get the attackers,” our police source said.
Already three leaders from the region have been charged in court over incitement leading to killings of five people in Kapedo. Those charged include Baringo County Assembly Speaker Kassait Kamket and two county assembly members who denied the charges saying they are politically motivated.
The incident came hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta outlined his security agenda for the country when he opened a high level seminar on national security in Nairobi.
In a 10-point statement that defines his vision for the country’s security, President Kenyatta laid down the steps towards guarding against security threats, protecting the nation’s sovereignty and driving its development agenda.
He said the government’s job was to build a strong State whose actions will be guided and constrained by the spirit and letter of the country’s democratic Constitution.
President Kenyatta singled out the State’s monopoly of violence, saying the disciplined services must become the only actors with the legitimacy to use force.
“They must be ready, willing and able to secure the persons and property of all citizens. This is a key dimension of national security,” President Kenyatta said.
He cited effective administrative control, saying it will ensure the reach of government authority over the territory of Kenya.
He emphasised the need for prudence in public finances, noting that no State can be sovereign while it relies on external sources to fund its operations.
“Fortunately, Kenya is not in this position, but a large section of the most vocal civil society is hopelessly dependent on foreign funding, particularly from governments with interests that may conflict with our national security,” he said.
President Kenyatta stressed the need to invest in human capital. Failure to invest in the livelihoods of the country’s youth, he said, directly threatened national security.