Kenya’s military says security operation in troubled Marsabit will continue until targets are met

The Kenyan military said on Sunday it will not relent on its ongoing security operation in the northern Marsabit County, which aims to rid the region of illegal firearms and banditry.

Speaking to journalists in Marsabit Town, a military spokesperson said the operation would continue until all targets are met.

“The operation in Marsabit has got no timeframe. The only things that it has are targets. So unless those targets are met, the operation is here to stay with us,” the spokesperson said.

He urged Marsabit residents to remain calm for the period of the operation which he said would improve the security situation in the County.

“We will continue with the operation until all the illegal firearms are out of the criminals. That is my assurance to members of Marsabit County. We expect cooperation from them,” he said.

The Kenyan government declared a month-long dusk to dawn curfew in Marsabit County on May 2 following a spike in insecurity.

In recent months, dozens of people have been killed in the region, with the attacks attributed partly to herders who were searching for pastures for their livestock during the dry period.

In February, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked the region’s leaders to provide a community-initiated strategy to stop the conflicts, failure to which the government would deploy security agencies with strict instructions to forcefully end insecurity in the county.

In his address to journalists on Sunday, the military spokesperson said the operation had already started seeing results.

“We are happy with the progress so far,” he said. “We have quite some recoveries that are indicative enough that we have illegal firearms. It is no secret. Out of the operation that we have carried out, we are also getting a lot of inroads into actionable intelligence.”