Kenya is set to receive sophisticated military equipment at the onset of January 2024 to curb the cases of terrorism and banditry.
According to a statement from Counter Terrorism Policing, the first batch of the equipment worth Ksh7 billion will arrive in January 2024. The set includes; Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs), Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), and surveillance drones.
“This will boost security agencies which are battling Al Shabaab terrorists and bandits in the country,” read the statement in parts.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki flanked by other security personnel in Lamu on December 7, 2023.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki on Tuesday, while on an official visit to Tiaty, Baringo County, revealed that the government will spend Ksh37 billion in the next five years to upgrade the country’s military equipment.
Kindiki stated the government will prioritise terror and banditry-prone areas such as Tiaty, Baringo North, and Ngaratuko when distributing the equipment to different government agencies.
According to Kindiki, by late next year, aircraft ordered by the government will have arrived in the country. He explained that as the Ministry waits for the choppers to arrive, the government will begin the process of rehabilitating existing ones and deploying them for use in North Rift.
“It’s going to take maybe late next year (2024) for us to be able to get the gunship helicopters that are part and parcel of this equipment program,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAP) are specialised military vehicles designed to withstand explosions from mines and ambushes, protecting troops in conflict zones.
They typically have a V-shaped hull to deflect explosions upwards and away from the personnel inside.
On the other hand, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) are military vehicles that transport troops in a protected, armoured compartment, providing mobility and safeguarding soldiers during transportation in combat situations.
The drones acquired by the Kenyan government will be used by security officers to monitor areas that have recorded increased cases of banditry and terror, especially the North Rift and Coast regions.
CS Kindiki had consistently issued a warning to terrorists and bandits while making his public statements.
On Tuesday, CS Kindiki revealed that the government’s efforts in combating banditry in Northern Rift Valley had reduced the prevalence of the crime by 70 percent.
The Cabinet Secretary vowed that the government will eradicate banditry in the region to open up the area for business.
“The suppression of bandit terror will give way to opening up of the region through social amenities, economic infrastructure, and durable peacebuilding programs spearheaded by the Government but involving non-governmental stakeholders,” he stated.
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki (in suit) addresses the press in the company of IG Japhet Koome (right)