President Ruto orders joint military, police operation in Turkana as bandits terrorise the North

President Ruto orders joint military, police operation in Turkana as bandits terrorise the North

President William Ruto

President William Ruto has ordered a joint security exercise between the National Police Service and the Kenya Defence Forces as the government ramps up the fight against banditry in the troubled North Rift region.

Speaking to local leaders from the Nakuru State Lodge on Monday, the Head of State also announced a three-day voluntary disarmament exercise starting tomorrow.

This will allow for the surrender of guns with no repercussions.

The president's order comes a day after he ordered Interior Affairs CS Kithure Kindiki to relocate to the North Rift until all acts of banditry have been quelled. 

Ruto said during a thanksgiving service in Nakuru on Sunday that he had ordered Prof Kindiki out of the Harambee Avenue office, to the insecurity-stricken region where he is expected to restore security.

“CS Kindiki is not here today because he was in Baringo today. He was in Turkana yesterday. I have told him to leave his office in Nairobi to go and live in the North Rift until the banditry comes to an end,” said Ruto.

He said his government has extensively strategised on fighting banditry in the coming days, saying he will ensure no more life lost through bandit attacks.

“We have put in place all measures we can in our capacity as the government. We will deal with those few proud individuals and make sure no Kenyan loses their life to them,” said the Head of State.

Cattle rustlers and bandits have wreaked havoc in the country’s North Rift region, leading to the loss of hundreds of lives, displacement of residents, and loss of thousands of livestock.

The most affected counties are Baringo, Turkana and Elgeyo Marakwet.

Just two days ago, on Friday, six people, among them four police officers, lost their lives in a bandit attack on the Kitale - Lodwar highway at Kaakong area of Turkana County.

At the same time, seven officers, including a sub-county Police Commander, were hospitalised with gunshot wounds in the gunfight that lasted hours into the night.

The fierce gunfight was recorded by a passenger in a vehicle that was part of a convoy of vehicles escorted by police, and showed bandits numbering about 300 in the bush.

On Thursday, three people were killed and one critically injured in another attack at Kakong area in Turkana South, where bandits who posed as bystanders along the road ambushed a Lodwar-bound Public Service Vehicle, spraying it with bullets.


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