President William Ruto has announced that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) will be permanently stationed in the banditry-prone North Rift areas.
Ruto made the announcement during a church service at Makutano, stating that the presence of the KDF would ensure stability in the region.
He also announced that the soldiers would take part in community projects and the construction of new schools and the renovation of old ones. Ruto added that KDF camps would be built in all areas to help end the cattle rustling and banditry in the areas.
The deployment of the KDF to six North Rift counties was ordered by Defence CS Aden Duale in February 2023. Interior CS Kindiki Kithure also declared Turkana, Elgeiyo Marakwet, Samburu, Baringo, Pokot and Laikipia as disturbed and dangerous.
When he appeared in the Senate, Kindiki stated that security forces had reclaimed gorges and other caves where bandits had turned them into their homes.
Ruto defended the decision to station the KDF, stating that previous measures had proven unworkable in ending the conflicts in the region. The presence of military camps was the only surest way to stem the perennial conflicts witnessed in the areas, he said.
Ruto added that soldiers would also drill dams and boreholes for irrigation, and the government would acquire graders to open up roads in the areas.