Gov't to arm chiefs in North Eastern region to combat banditry
The government is seeking to
issue firearms to chiefs and assistant chiefs in bandit-prone areas of the
North Eastern region in a bid to complement State efforts to combat the threat
and beef up security in the regions.
This is according to Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Prof. Kithure Kindiki who says that the National Government Administrative Officers (NGAOs) will be subjected to a thorough screening exercise to establish whether they are suitable to carry firearms.
Speaking in Arbajahan Primary School, Wajir County on Thursday, Kindiki noted that once the administrative officers are armed, the government will deploy additional police officers to the areas to aid the chiefs in their banditry mitigation efforts.
“You cannot expect an officer to pursue criminals and recover stolen livestock using a baton. I have directed the security teams in the counties affected by cattle rustling to vet our chiefs and assistant chiefs so that we can arm them to protect the lives and property of wananchi,” he said.
He likewise ordered the administrative officers in the areas to recruit an additional 200 National Police Reservists (NPRs) to reinforce security efforts.
“We won’t have investment and socio-economic growth in Northern Kenya without lasting peace, security and stability. We can only open up this region to investment through improved policing,”
CS Kindiki added that two recently established Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) camps in the North Eastern region will soon be commissioned and staffed in the coming days to aid in banditry alleviation.
Kindiki correspondingly ordered the County Commissioners of Wajir and Isiolo to initiate the formalization of peace meetings and institutionalize the consultative framework of elders as a forum for dispute resolution.
“I strongly believe we can end the retrogressive practice of cattle rustling and clashes here if the elders are fully involved. You will constitute a 20-member team of elders from the two counties to steer peace talks and peaceful coexistence,” he said.
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