On Tuesday, 7th March 2017 Major-General (Retired), Hon. Joseph Nkaissery, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government; Prof. Judy Wakhungu, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources and Amb. (Dr) Monica Juma, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, briefed the diplomatic corps in Nairobi on the security situation in the country following the recent attack in Laikipia County that led to the death of a Director of Sosian Ranch. In the meeting, they underscored the commitment of the Government of Kenya to secure the territory of the Republic, as well as assure the safety and well-being of its citizens, visitors, investors and their property.
Security Situation in Laikipia & Baringo County
The Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government informed the diplomats that the recent incidents in the counties of Baringo and Laikipia are attributed to competition for scarce resources, specifically pasture and water, which had been depleted due to the severe drought which continues to ravage the entire country.
He informed that the Government had put in place various measures that include but not limited to the following to address the situation:
- Deployment of additional Police officers and intensification of operations to flush out the illegal grazers. To this end, Security agents have been able to remove sixty-six thousand, five hundred (66,500) livestock from private ranches in Laikipia County, arrested and prosecuted 379 persons during the ongoing operation.
- Intensifying of disarmament operations and voluntary surrender of illegal firearms to mop up illegal guns.
- Issuance of a moratorium against new leases particularly on expired land leases to ensure the continuance and curtail scramble for land.
- Creating awareness through various fora of local leaders to enlighten and dissuade the public against invading both public and private land.
- Enhancing dialogue between the ranchers and the local community to cultivate harmonious co-existence.
- Instituting drought mitigation and famine relief measures including food aid, and water distribution, cash transfers, provision of fodder and animal feeds and livestock off-take programs in all the affected areas. The drought situation has been declared a national disaster and resource mobilization to deal with it is in progress.
Other Security Concerns
Major-General Hon. Nkaissery also commented on other issues which have a potential impact on social stability and the state of national security, as follows:
- General elections to be held on 8th August, 2017: The Government is determined to ensure peace and stability prevails in the period prior, during and after the election and has appealed to the political classes, the leadership, the citizenry, relevant public institutions and all stakeholders to cooperate and ensure that all electoral affairs are conducted responsibly and with utmost decorum so as to ensure a free, fair and transparent electoral process and credible outcome.
- Counter-terrorism and violent extremism: The Government has developed, adopted, and is implementing, a comprehensive national strategy on counter-terrorism and violent extremism which focuses on prevention and eradication of the motivational factors underlying the allure of recruitment and radicalization. Another aspect of the strategy is the de-radicalization and rehabilitation of those who have renounced terrorism and violent extremism. The security services have also embraced a multi-agency approach, and these strategies have started to bear fruit given the enhanced efficacy of operations by the security services along the Kenya-Somali border.
- Aviation security: Aviation security is being continuously improved in keeping with international standards of aviation safety, and this has been affirmed by the granting of category one status to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by the US Federal Aviation Administration recently.
- Multi-Agency Reforms: The adoption of Multi-Agency Approach to security has resulted into Multi-Sectoral Reforms in the Government that have enhanced security and safety in the country. These include Legislative Reforms such as enactment of: the Access to Information Act, No. 31 of 2016; the Private Security Regulation Act, No. 13 of 2016 and the Bribery Act, No. 47 of 2016; among other laws
- National Police Reforms: The Government has increased and modernized the fleet of vehicles and equipment to enhance police operations and increase visibility. It has also improved police welfare through the construction of police housing units and securing of a comprehensive group insurance for police officers allowing them to access quality medical treatment across the country.
- Police-Citizen ratio: In addressing Police-Citizen ratio, the Government has consistently recruited additional 10,000 police officers every year across the units. Notably, the Police-Citizen ratio in Kenya has surpassed the UN threshold of 1 Police Officer for every 450 Citizens.
Hon. Joseph Nkaissery reiterated that the Government will scale up reforms to ensure that various institutions offer effective and efficient services to the population. He noted that during the electioneering period, the Government will use constitutional machinery to facilitate free and fair elections and ensure that peace and security prevail BEFORE, DURING and AFTER elections.