NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 13- The government has vowed to adopt tough measures to end Marsabit clashes after six police officers sustained injuries when a chopper went down in Meru.
The officers were part of high-level delegations from Embu and Garissa who were heading to Sololo for a security meeting following clashes on the border of Marsabit and Wajir counties.
“I have held countless meetings myself in Harambee house with leaders of that part of the country,” he said, when he received four of the injured officers who were flown in for specialised treatment, “we cannot allow this to continue.”
He regretted that the country has lost many lives including those of senior government officials, while on peace missions to the area.
The police helicopter that crashed in Meru was carrying six officers, among them Isaiah Nakoru, the Regional Commissioner for Eastern, who sustained serous injuries. One officer escaped unhurt while four were airlifted to Nairobi after emergency treatment at the Meru Level Five Hospital.
Those airlifted to Nairobi were aboard a Kenya Airforce aircraft that landed at Wilson airport at 2pm, before they were taken to hospital in ambulances.
They were received at the Wilson Airport by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai.
Matiangi has vowed “it will be painful” in Marsabit where locals continue to engage in politically instigated violance.
He said more security personnel will be deployed there, but has hinted at the change of strategy in handling the politically-instigated violence in Marsabit.
“I am concerned by the number of public officials we have lost because of the conflict around Marsabit area. We are now increasingly convinced that we need to change our doctrine of internal security in that particular part of the country,” he said.
It was not the first time government officials on a security mission were involved in an air crash enroute to Marsabit.
In April 2006, 14 lives were lost while on a peace mission to the area including five Members of Parliament.
They include Bonaya Godana, a veteran politician and a legal scholar as well as the then Internal Security Assistant Minister Mirugi Kariuki.
“The day a political leader is jailed for this kind of thing, this will end. We must change our approach. We cannot be losing officers every day to this kind of thing,” Matiangi said, blaming the violence in Marsabit to political incitement.