Gen Nyaga begins work in troubled North Rift

Maj Gen Jeff Nyagah

Maj Gen Jeff Nyagah addressing journalists in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, on April 22, 2023.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Major General Jeff Nyagah has kicked off his new assignment in the Western Command of the Kenya Army where his new headache is to eliminate banditry in the North Rift region under “Operation Maliza Uhalifu”, a joint operation by the Kenya Defence Forces and National Police Service.

This comes a month after his exit from the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he oversaw the setting up of the regional force, the return to normalcy of Goma city that was on the verge of capture by M23 rebels last year and the withdrawal of the rebels from major supply routes leading to a ceasefire between them and the local army, FARDC.

President William Ruto has openly declared that banditry must end in the North Rift and issued the same command to the multi-agency team leading the operation, saying this is not a plea (na sio tafadhali).

The deployment of Maj Gen Nyagah to the region is seen as a strategic move by the President as part of his legacy in restoring peace and security in the North Rift.

“We know those wreaking havoc are a few criminals and we will not allow them. I have promised that I will stop them. It is either they choose to leave that kind of business or I will stop it by force. It is not if but when they will stop. Just leave them to me and I will deal with them the best way I know,” said the President when he declared his resolve to end banditry in November last year.

In his maiden tour of Operation Maliza Uhalifu’s command centre at Chemolingot, the Maj Gen was briefed on the current security situation and milestones achieved since the operation was launched as he engaged with the troops deployed in the operation.

Maj Gen Nyagah said the operation will be guided by intelligence reports and assured its multi-agency set commanders that the military will continue to accord them all the necessary support needed to curb the banditry menace.

“We take cognisance of your spirited efforts of protecting Kenyans in this region, which has greatly impacted their socio-economic lives. It has not been easy, but we continue to be resilient and motivated,” said the Major General, who also toured Chesitet, Tot, Kainuk, Baragoi, Pura, Kirimun, and Ngoisusu.

In his engagement with the troops, he commended all the security agencies for their selfless service in ensuring normalcy is gradually restored in the disturbed counties as he vowed to ensure that the operation is successful.

The Maj Gen is renowned for leading the 2011 KDF incursion into Somalia under “Operation Linda Nchi” then as a Colonel, a move that pushed al-Shabaab from the Kenya-Somalia border further into the Somali interior and the subsequent successful battle for Hoosingo, a Kenyan Forward Operating Base located in the lower Juba region that was unsuccessfully attacked by al-Shabaab militia in January 2012.

Maj Gen Nyagah would later serve as Amisom Commander during which the fight against al-Shabaab embraced the use of soft power to win the hearts and minds of the local population.

This involved training the locals on alternative sources of income generation to avoid over reliance on pastoralism especially during the long drought seasons.

Born in Loitoktok, Kajiado District, Major General Nyagah, the last born in a family of three, pursued his basic education in Kenya before joining KDF as a cadet officer in 1991 and was commissioned the following year. He is an alumnus of University of Nairobi and US Army War College.

The new military postings 

  • Maj Gen Rashid Elmi-Commandant, National Defence College
  • Maj Gen John Nkoimo-Commandant, Kenya Military Academy
  • Maj Gen Eric Kinuthia-Commandant, Joint Command and Staff College
  • Maj Gen Charles Kahariri-Deputy Commandant, National Defence College (NDC)
  • Maj Gen Fatuma Ahmed-Senior Directing Staff Air, NDC


  • Maj Gen Dennis Kamuri-Managing Director, Kenya Ordinance Factories
  • Maj Gen Mohamed Hassan-General Officer, Border Security Command
  • Brigadier Sylvester Chirchir-Deputy Director, Directorate of National Security Industries 
  • Brig Mathew Lenamunai-Commander, Kahawa Garrison
  • Brig Kaku Mutua-Commandant, Construction Engineers Brigadew 
  • Brig Mwachala Kimonge-Chief of Operations, Defence Headquarters
  • Brig Titus Sokobe-Chief of Infrastructure, Defence Headquarters
  • Brig Omari Rajab-Deputy Managing Director, Kenya Ordinance Factories
  • Brig Peter Limo-Managing Director, Defence Forces Canteen Organisation
  • Brig Oscar Muleyi-Director, Centre for Security and Strategic Studies, NDC
  • Brig Oswald Opiyo-Director, Uhuru Gardens National Monument and Musemu
  • Brig Roba Wario-Office of the National Security Advisor