NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – Ambassador Mohamud Ali Saleh has been appointed the new regional coordinator for North Eastern Kenya as part of government measures to enhance security.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said Wednesday that the new regional coordinator will oversee security and peace initiatives in the region.
“He is also expected to work closely with the leadership of the region to deal with security challenges which include radicalisation of the youth, ethnic conflicts and smuggling of goods along the Kenya –Somalia border, among other security issues,” he stated.
Addressing journalists at Harambee House, the CS also said the government has re-organized security committees in the region through deployment of new County Commissioners and deployment of new county police commanders.
“The inspector General of Police has also designated a new set of Regional and County Police Commanders to ensure effective police operations,” Nkaissery assured.
This comes after senior police officers and administrators were suspended following the Garissa University College terror attack that left 148 dead among them, 142 students.
North Eastern Regional coordinator Ernest Munyi, Garissa County commissioner Njenga Miiri and seven other senior officers within the county have been interdicted over the Garissa University College terror attack that claimed 148 lives.
Nkaissery said the move was reached after a preliminary investigation by a team from the ministry recommended the investigation of the officers to assess their culpability in responding to intelligence reports of a possible attack in the area, and whether they disregarded the warning.
Others suspended are Christopher Muthee (County Commander), Musa Yego (County Criminal Investigations Officer), Charles Wambugu (Kenya Police County Commander), Benjamin Ong’ombe (OCPD) Garissa, John Cheruiyot Sawe sub county AP commander, Nicholas Kimanzi Anti Terrorism Police Unit(ATPU) and Charles Ayoro the Deputy OC, Garissa Police station.
The preliminary inquiry was undertaken by a team investigating the incident in a bid establish loopholes that could have led to the attack.
The Cabinet Secretary has also warned against use of social media for circulating messages that causes alarm and despondency among citizens.
“My attention has been drawn to false and alarming messaging in circulation on social media platforms that are scaring people with claims of imminent terrorist attacks on highways,” he lamented.
“These acts are in themselves terrorism in nature and I take this opportunity to strongly warn any person who is circulating these messages to desist forthwith.”
He pointed out that the Security Law Amendment Act (2014) makes it an offence to use social media or any other media for purposes of causing alarm.
On issues of the amnesty issued to youths who had joined Al-Shabaab, he said the response has been positive.
He however noted that police have arrested some suspects linked to the terror group, “and will soon be taken to court.”