Kindiki: Why KDF Will Never Be Withdrawn From Bandit Areas
With the raging debate over the presence of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in the northern parts of the Rift Valley in countering bandits, Interior CS Kithure Kindiki revealed that the soldiers’ deployment and stay were permanent.
Speaking on Monday, February 20, Kindiki maintained that KDF will not be withdrawn from Kerio Valley or any other bandit-prone region.
“We are in the north as the security apparatus of Kenya to stay. We are not coming back. We will be there for good. The presence will not be withdrawn. We would like the place to be as peaceful as possible today,” he added.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki and President William Ruto during the pass-out parade for the Kenya Police constables at Kiganjo, Nyeri County on January 10, 2023
In his submissions, Kindiki acknowledged that the operation was not a small matter as the perennial issue of banditry has existed for over nine decades.
“We expect that it will be complex in dealing with the gun culture and the ogre of death in the north,
“We are, however, determined to run over those criminals in the shortest time possible and get them out from wherever they are,” he affirmed.
Kindiki also stated that as a government, they were considering upscaling the number of military presence in the region.
“We are aware that we have challenges ahead. Therefore, we are determined to make the place peaceful and tackle the structural and systemic issues that have made the present situation prevail for so long,” he added.
Kindiki’s pronouncement is likely to elicit even more debate over the presence of the military in civilian areas given that Parliamentary approval was not sought.
On Monday, February 20, Kisii Senator Richard Onyonka asked President William Ruto to admit fault in the deployment of the military.
“Ruto needs to admit that he might not have known that permission must be sought from National Assembly before deploying the military,” he stated.
The deployment was, however, defended by Deputy National Assembly Speaker Gladys Shollei who intimated that the predicament in the north was partly contributed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Under the Uhuru regime, the police airwing was moved to the military. As we speak, the police have no airwing of their own such that when they go to such operations in bandit areas, they are not able to send air support,” she revealed.
While Shollei admitted that the deployment required Parliamentary approval, she stated that the military had only been sent to support the National Police Service (NPS).
IG Japhet Koome addressing officers in Turkana County on February 14, 2023
criminal death gun fight