- This came after a meeting in State House chaired by President William Ruto discussed the crisis in the region.
- Officials said he was briefed by the multi-agency security teams operating in Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and Samburu counties.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale on Wednesday visited various forward operating areas in the North Rift to check on the progress of the ongoing operation against banditry in the region.
Incidents of banditry have left hundreds dead and others injured with animals stolen in the past months despite operations to tame the trend.
During his visit to ‘Operation Maliza Uhalifu’ North Rift, Duale reaffirmed the government’s commitment to end banditry, and restore peace and normalcy in the six counties declared as dangerous and disturbed.
This came after a meeting in State House chaired by President William Ruto discussed the crisis in the region.
Officials said he was briefed by the multi-agency security teams operating in Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and Samburu counties.
Rift Valley regional police commander Tom Odera reported that the security teams have realized critical milestones by recovering several heads of livestock, and illegal firearms and reopening schools and roads that were controlled by the bandits.
He said the multi-agency approach has enhanced their interoperability, skills sharing and synergy that has made it possible to coordinate the operation across the six counties covering Operation Maliza Uhalifu including Baringo, Samburu, Laikipia, Turkana, West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet.
Duale reaffirmed that the multi-agency approach would restore normalcy in the affected regions.
He commended the teams noting that, in 25 days since the commencement of the operation, the security situation had greatly improved following joint efforts by the security agencies.
“We are sending a strong message to the bandits that we’re in this theatre to stay. We are not leaving until we are convinced that the security has improved and the bandits are degraded so that socio-economic development can take place,” said the CS.
He lauded the multi-agency security teams for their dedication saying the government shall go out of its way to support the security agencies in the mission area.
“We are going to set up serious military installations and GSU camps in the area, creating a network of quick reaction forces. The bandits dared us, and we’ve come in full force to find a lasting solution,” he said.
He said the military shall conduct Civil-Military Cooperation activities in the region such as the establishment of medical camps, construction of schools and sinking boreholes to provide social amenities for the communities.
The CS toured the Chemolingot Multi-Agency Command Centre (Baringo), Tot Multi-agency Camp (Elgeyo Marakwet), and Samburu County Commissioner’s Offices in Maralal.
During the visit, the CS was accompanied by the General Officer Western Command (GOC West Com) Maj Gen David Tarus, the GSU Commandant Douglas Kanja and Samburu County Commissioner Henry Wafula.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in banditry-prone areas as he declared them disturbed and dangerous. The 30 days curfew began February 14, 2023.
Kindiki said some areas in counties including Turkana, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Laikipia, and Samburu will be affected.
He said over 100 civilians and 16 police officers have been murdered by marauding bandits and livestock rustling terrorists in the Northern Rift Valley region.
He also declared parts of North Rift that have been affected by insecurity are disturbed and dangerous.
He said murderous gangs have in recent days escalated their terror on innocent Kenyans and law enforcement agencies and in the process burnt down schools, police vehicles and other social amenities.
“During the attacks, hundreds of Kenyans have been displaced from their homes,” he said.
Kindiki said the government has determined the security situation currently prevailing in the Northern Rift Valley Region as a National Emergency.
"Accordingly, painful and decisive measures must be taken effective immediately," he said.