Ruto Under Pressure to Call Museveni After Deploying KDF

President William Ruto and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.jpg
President William Ruto and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni during a meeting in Uganda in August 2022
Yoweri Museveni

President William Ruto was asked to reach out to Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni for counsel on how to deal with the banditry menace in Kenya's North Rift region.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, February 14, Pokot residents warned Ruto that deploying Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers is not the solution to the sporadic attacks.

They asked him to seek counsel from President Museveni, whom they argued properly dealt with the same security threat in North East Uganda.

"All operations, including those in 1969, 79, 84 and 'Nyundo' have not been successful. I want to ask the head of state to call President Museveni because he understands the issue better," John Ledonyo stated.

A gun-carrying bandit
An undated image of a gun-carrying bandit.
Photo: KDF

Other locals in the West Pokot and Turkana border counties argued that the Ugandan authorities needed to be involved in the operation to ward off any bandits attempting to flee into their country.

In addition, they complained that involving the military would lead to gross human rights violations during the operations - a notion Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Hassan Abdi denied.

"We believe it will be carried out in a very humane, orderly, disciplined and professional manner. The issue of a humanitarian crisis is beyond the point because even as we speak, the bandits have caused a humanitarian problem," Abdi explained.

In a visit to Turkana County, the Inspector General of Police, Japhet Koome, reiterated that it was high time to end banditry. 

However, security expert, Rtd Brigadier Ahmed Mohammed argued that the introduction of KDF was premature. Mohammed opined that the government should have focused on strengthening the police and administrators.

"In Mt Elgon, the military went in full force and was met with equal repulsion. There were cries about human rights, but when you call for it, it will be done as required and be solved once and for all," the former military man noted.

On February 14, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kindiki Kithure maintained that the President's order was legal and did not require Parliament's approval.

Kindiki explained that the police are leading the operation, and the military only joined the multi-agency operation. 

Interior CS Prof Kithure Kindiki addressing police officers on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, in Turkana County
Interior CS Prof Kithure Kindiki addressing police officers on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, in Turkana County.
Kithure Kindiki
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