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Kenya gets an all-female squad of 48 commandos from Administration Police

The graduation was presided over by Interior CS Fred Matiangi and IG Hilary Mutyambai. Photo/COURTESY NPS.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9-Kenya’s war against organized crime has received yet another impetus following the graduation of an elite all-female Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.

Officials said the 48 commando officers, drawn from the Administration Police Service have undergone a thorough five-month of physical and combat drilling, which was the first phase of their 15 month-long programme standardized training.

Speaking while presiding over the passing-out ceremony in Ngong, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi on Friday said the feat comes at a time when Kenya seeks to handle emerging security threats and hostage crises ‘promptly and with precision’.

“What we have witnessed today gives us confidence as the government that we have the capacity to protect our people and secure our country,” he said.

He said the officers are ready not only to thwart terror threats and attacks but also enhance general security.
Their training featured, among others, the application of Israeli Krav Maga, multiple weapons handling techniques as well as explosives and IEDs management.

“This is a momentous day for our country because we can now rest assured that we have more officers who can undertake intricate security operations that require specialized approaches,” he said, adding that the team will greatly supplement the existing efforts of securing the country.

A female paratrooper displays her skills during the graduation in Ngong on August 9, 2019. Photo/COURTESY NPS.

The Cabinet Secretary assured the officers of the government’s full support in their work through improved welfare, advanced training, and capacity building.

On his part, Inspector General of the National Police Service Hillary Mutyambai committed to progressively increase the contingent in the next intake.

The IG also commended the collaboration with other stakeholders in the security sector, which he said, “has greatly improved service delivery.”

Kenya has a myriad of security challenges that range from terrorism to criminal groups, with the latest reported in Kisauni, Mombasa this week when an armed gang known as Wakali Kwanza slashed nearly 20 people.

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On terrorism, Somalia based Al-Shabaab terror group poses the most serious problem and has launched dozens of attacks in the country, killing hundreds—including security forces.

Despite the militants being extensively weakened, Kenya has paid the heaviest price partly due to a porous border between Somalia and Kenya.

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