Security agencies in Kenya have over the past few weeks embarked on a series of training to help them cope with possible post-election violence after the August 8 elections. The agencies have also shipped in massive equipment to help deal with any mass protests.
The preparations being made points to the assessment by both local and foreign bodies that there could be violence after the announcement of the hotly contested election between incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and one-time Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
IEBC has asked for at least 150,000 security officers to be deployed on election-related duties while the European Union election observation mission has warned of the likelihood of a repeat of the 2007/8 post-election violence.
Post-Election Violence Preparations
Security agencies are leaving nothing to chance and have begun training personnel in rescue operations and crowd control using the latest technology and methods. They have also simulated various situations, including response to civil unrest, terrorism and other forms of insecurity in a program dubbed Exercise Dumisha Utulivu.
Officers from KDF, NPS, NIS, KWS, NYS and Kenya Forestry Services were drawn into the program.
The ministries of Interior and Defence which is organizing the multi-agency program, say its essence “is to ensure rapid and coordinated response.” They say the training will enable personnel to understand the role of the recently formed National Multi-Agency Coordinating Centre. The officers will also be equipped to understand the chain of command from the strategic down to the tactical level models.
Post-Election Violence Equipment
The multi-agency has also shipped in a massive number of crowd-control vehicles and anti-riot gear.
At least a dozen new South Korean made crowd-control vehicles arrived Nairobi at the weekend, increasing the inventory to more than 30. Along with the consignment came a huge number of anti-riot gear which included tons of tear gas canisters, batons, and guns.
The new crowd-control vehicles have the capacity to carry 9,000 liters of water and each carry two water cannons on top of the cabin.
They are also fixed with various riot control mixing stuff including foam, tear gas and paint that stick to and single out protesters. Its nozzle has a shooting distance of a minimum of 25 meters and a maximum 70 meters with an elevation of 90 degrees and rotation of 320 degrees.
It has a fully automated and centralized control system, a cabin protector and can carry seven crew at a time.
Other features include run-flat tire so that it can drive under damaged conditions for 50km at 50km per hour. It also has Cabin Pressure Control System for increasing the pressure of the cabin to keep external gas out, ventilation and air pressure control.