News / Africa

Kenyans Anxious About Operation to Track Police Killers

Kenyan Commissioner of Police Mathew Kirai Iteere, left, addresses media on the weekend attack on the police officers in Samburu, northwestern Kenya at Wilson Airport Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012.Kenyan Commissioner of Police Mathew Kirai Iteere, left, addresses media on the weekend attack on the police officers in Samburu, northwestern Kenya at Wilson Airport Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012.
x
Kenyan Commissioner of Police Mathew Kirai Iteere, left, addresses media on the weekend attack on the police officers in Samburu, northwestern Kenya at Wilson Airport Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012.
Kenyan Commissioner of Police Mathew Kirai Iteere, left, addresses media on the weekend attack on the police officers in Samburu, northwestern Kenya at Wilson Airport Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012.
Gabe Joselow
Kenya has deployed troops to the northwestern region of the country where more than 40 police officers were killed in an ambush last weekend. While the government says it needs to strike back, civilians in the area are worried they could get caught in the crossfire.

The Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) have begun searching areas of Samburu county for Turkana cattle rustlers accused of carrying out the deadly attack on police forces.

The National Security Council ordered the deployment to assist the police, who were outgunned during the ambush in the Suguta Valley on November 17.

As the military helicopters began to circle overhead Thursday, hundreds of residents started to flee areas of Samburu, fearing they would be targeted in the military strike.

A member of parliament from Turkana, Josephat Nanok, denounced the operation alongside two other MPs from the region in a press conference Thursday.

“Right now, KDF forces have been deployed all over Turkana and Samburu County and the local communities are worried that innocent children, women and youth are going to be tortured,” Nanok said. "This deployment is ill-advised, because it is testimony that our internal security apparatus have totally failed.”

Defense Ministry Spokesman Bogita Ongeri told VOA that the troop deployment was necessary, saying such an attack on police cannot be taken lightly.

He said the troops are taking their lead from local authorities, and that their objective is to find those responsible for the killing.

“We don't target any community in such an operation because criminals are criminals and we are dealing with criminals, not the innocent civilian population,” Ongeri said.

To reassure concerned politicians, Ongeri said KDF works with the local, provincial authorities, and follows strict rules of engagement.

“And one of the things we need to ensure members of parliament from the area is that we are very fair when it comes to internal operations and we will make sure that we don't encourage any harassment of local populations,” Ongeri said.

Kenyan security forces have a poor track record when it comes to human rights.

The U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch has accused the military and police of forcibly "disappearing" hundreds of people during a security crackdown that followed an insurgency in the Mount Elgon area in 2008.

Just last month, the group said Kenya's government should investigate alleged assaults by police on villagers in North Eastern province.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs