President Dr William Ruto on Friday sent a stern warning to murderous bandits who have been a menace in various parts of North Rift and northern Kenya.
Speaking at the Lanet Military Academy in Nakuru County where he presided over the commissioning parade of General Service Officer cadets and graduate officers, the head of state warned that the State would not relent until security is restored in the affected areas.
Dr Ruto warned that the government will deal with the criminals accordingly if they continue killing, maiming, stealing livestock and causing mayhem in the regions.
"I am absolutely confident that we can rely on the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and our security system to secure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kenya. We will be decisive in eliminating banditry and neutralise every bandit who defies the government and attempts any illegal or criminal act," President Ruto warned.
"Every bandit must be brought to book, every illegal gun surrendered willingly or by force. And every child must go back to school," the Head of State further stated.
Dr Ruto said the government will not allow bandits to threaten the country’s peace and security.
He said it was unfortunate that for many generations, parts of Kenya have been besieged by armed bandits who have killed and displaced thousands of innocent citizens with impunity.
"As of banditry activities, families have been displaced and impoverished, the provision of public services disrupted, a whole generation of children have missed school and development held back as the rest of the country moves forward," Dr Ruto noted.
"The fundamental rights and freedoms under Articles 26, 28 and 29, particularly of life, dignity, freedom and security of affected people have been violated consistently without redress. The dangerously misguided idea that people can acquire illegal guns mobilise to commit murder, robbery, violence and other criminal acts and in the process displace, torment and cause suffering and insecurity to peaceful communities must and will come to an end," warned President Ruto.
Work with the Ministry of Education
At the same time, the president directed the military to work with the Ministry of Education to rebuild all schools destroyed by banditry activities, to allow children to go back to school.
"I have directed the military to jointly work with the ministry of education and rebuild all schools destroyed by bandits in the six affected counties, to allow children to go back to school," said President Ruto.
More than 10 schools have been shut in Samburu, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Turkana and other affected regions due to banditry activities.
For instance, in Samburu County, incessant deadly attacks in parts of Samburu West have led to the closure of five schools and the displacement of more than 1,500 people from their residential areas.
Gangs of heavily armed bandits are prowling the vast, sharp and mountainous Malaso and Kur Kur valleys believed to be their operation areas.
As of Thursday afternoon, over 1,500 villages poured into Loiborngare and Loosuk town centres following deadly attacks in the region which have left at least 10 people dead.
Pura, Lkeek Sapuki and Seepei primary schools are among the affected schools where learners did not report to school due to banditry activities.
The president presided over the commissioning of 330 military cadets commissioned.
The commissioned cadets comprise 221 Kenya Army cadets, 56 Kenya Airforce, 31 Kenya Navy, 15 Allied Cadets and four already commissioned cadets.
Defiant bandits have been staging attacks in Turkana, Samburu, Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet despite the heavy presence of security personnel including the military in the areas.