More troops sent to North Rift

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By STELLA CHERONO
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Two infantry companies made up of about 600 soldiers supported by the Kenya Air Force are in Laikipia, Samburu, Turkana, Baringo and West Pokot counties to ensure residents’ security.

A report from the Kenya Defence Forces to the National Assembly states that the soldiers would continue with the operation until the National Security Council withdraws them.

“The expenditure will come from the Civil Contingency Fund for the 2016/17 financial year,” the report, signed by Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said. The fund is usually set aside for emergencies.

President Kenyatta sent the military to the five counties following attacks by armed raiders who killed, injured and displaced people.

“The military will assist in disarmament and surrender of illegally held arms,” President Kenyatta said. He added that people with illegal firearms were a threat to Kenyans.

During the State of the Nation address last week, the President blamed politicians in those areas for the deaths of dozens of residents, livestock thefts, destruction of property and displacement of people.

He asked the local peoples to use community policing so that citizens can volunteer support and information to the police.

In the report submitted to the National Assembly, Ms Omamo said the National Police Service had sought the support of the military in dealing with the emergencies.

Residents and leaders of Baringo welcomed the President’s decision to deploy the soldiers. A previous crackdown had failed to end violence and banditry.

A day before the deployment of the troops, seven women and four children were killed.

At least 25 people have been killed in Baringo in the past three weeks despite the presence of 230 police officers and 151 reservists.

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