Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday cautioned opposition leader Raila Odinga against politicizing military matters saying that their issues should be addressed with dignity.
Speaking at a service in Uasin Gishu County, Mr. Ruto said the President’s decision had been informed by the National Security Council and other experts.
Ruto defended his boss’ decision to pull out Kenyan troops from the volatile South Sudan, saying matters of defense should be left only to the President.
He directed his comments towards outsiders politicizing military matters to score political points.
“Our security officers have put their lives at risk in the line of duty for the sake of the security and we should stop political insinuations on their work.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta is the Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces and (he) knows his role on matters of security. The President does not make decisions on the basis of political directions but on security analysis.”
Ruto’s comments are in reply to Raila Odinga’s criticism of President Kenyatta last week, which said the withdrawal of the troops would open a diplomatic row with the international community.
Mr. Odinga termed the withdrawal ill-advised, arguing that Kenya’s longstanding relationship with the international community would suffer.
Kenya opted to withdraw its troops because the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon sacked the mission’s Kenyan commanding officer for what it said was a lack of leadership.
The first batch of 1000-strong KDF soldiers arrived Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Tuesday last week from Juba, with the rest slated to arrive in the coming weeks.
DP Ruto went on to commend the troops’ efforts who have worked wholeheartedly to serve and defend the country.