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America will provide Sh457m to the police for securing borders

Wednesday July 29 2015

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet. He has warned that Al-Shabaab terrorists are regrouping in Jedahaley, Somalia, to attack Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet. He has warned that Al-Shabaab terrorists are regrouping in Jedahaley, Somalia, to attack Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By STELLA CHERONO
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The Kenya Police will receive Sh457 million from the US to boost its capacity to secure the border and respond to crises.

It will also boost its capacity to investigate cases.

The funding, according to the Security Assistance Monitor document released on Tuesday last week, will be provided through the State Department’s Non-proliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programmes fund.

According to the document, the US is keen on more aid to the police to help it fight terrorism.

Though the funding is less compared to what the military will receive this year, it is more compared to other Sub-Saharan countries.

“By comparison, in Financial Year 2015, the United States planned no counter-terrorism aid to police in both Niger and Mali which also face serious terrorists threats,” the document indicates.

EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS

Emphasis, according to the US, will be on strengthening the skills, commitment and knowledge necessary to conduct operations while still respecting international human rights laws.

Kenya will also receive additional NADR funding this year to allow it, Uganda and Tanzania share data.

The cooperation is meant to help identify and stop potential terrorists from criss-crossing the borders of the three countries.

Kenyan police have in the past been on the spotlight following claims of extrajudicial killings, disappearance of suspects and mistreating communities during the anti-terrorists crackdown.

In 2014, the Human Rights Watch recommended that donor funding to the Kenyan Security forces be halted due to “gross human rights violations.”

The report indicated that over the past five years, police have been responsible for hundreds of extrajudicial killings but the perpetrators have not been prosecuted, “due to weak internal accountability mechanism and nascent civilian oversight.”

A survey by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights in the same year released a report indicating that police had unlawfully killed 120 people between May and August 2013 under circumstances that could have been avoided.

It also accused police of not reporting the killings to the civilian oversight authority, the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), for investigation as required under the law.

The two human rights agencies have sensationally stated that police were responsible for the torture, disappearance, and unlawful killing of alleged terrorism suspects and individuals of Somali origin. Somali refugees in Mombasa, Nairobi and North Eastern regions were affected.

HRW also alleges that the police conducted abusive operations in Tana River and Lamu counties in the aftermath of attacks. During the raids, security forces targeted Muslim and ethnic Somali men.

They also lobbied President Obama to pressure the Kenyan government to improve transparency on security matters.

But the US maintains that improving the accountability and effectiveness of both the military and police is critical to fighting terrorists.