CS Kindiki defends deployment of KDF in Northern Kenya

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has defended the deployment of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in Northern Kenya to combat bandit attacks, saying that all legal procedures were followed and that the situation is a matter of national security.

Speaking while appearing before the the Senate’s National Cohesion committee on Thursday, Kindiki said that he initiated the process of requesting KDF support through a letter to the Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale after consulting and making determinations with other security agencies.

He said that he issued curfew orders in the affected counties of Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Turkana and Baringo as part of the measures to restore peace and order in the region.

He explained that the reason for involving KDF was because the bandits were retreating to inaccessible terrains that required air support and surveillance, which are within the mandate of KDF.

“The mandate of KDF is 99 percent external and 1 percent internal and that is why the constitution allows KDF to support other agencies within the country,” he said.

He added that the government has launched a massive security operation in Northern Kenya to flush out the armed criminals who have been terrorizing residents and disrupting peace.

Kindiki reiterated that the recent bandit attacks in Northern Kenya are acts of terror and an emergency situation that requires urgent intervention.

He assured Kenyans that the government is committed to restoring peace and stability in Northern Kenya and protecting lives and property of all citizens.

CS Aden said that KDF is in Northern Kenya to assist the National Police Service under the command of the Inspector General. He said that the Kenya Kwanza administration will end cattle rustling, killing of officers and burning of their equipment.

Duale said that KDF has three mandates: to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the republic; to assist other security agencies in emergencies or disasters; and to deploy with the approval of the National Assembly to maintain law and order.

The CS said that he followed Article 241 of the constitution and the KDF act when he called upon KDF to deploy in six counties affected by banditry. He said that he wrote to the speaker of the National Assembly on February 13.

Duale added that the joint operation is well documented and elaborated in section 33 and 35 of the KDF act.

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