WEEKLY GENERAL SECURITY UPDATE FOR THE WEEK ENDING 14th OCTOBER 2018
Crime levels increased with at least 104 incidents reported. This was the second time that the 100 threshold was breached since mid-September. Since that time, the number of reported crime has remained relatively high over the weeks, an indicator that the overall crime rates were steadily climbing. While the majority of crime incidents were robberies, records indicated a rise in carjack levels. The rise in robberies and carjacks suggested that criminals were increasing turning on those they perceived to be having some disposable income on themselves including motorists and passengers. Another form of crime that showed marked increases was kidnaps where ransom was demanded.
Amid the heightened terror alert in the country, suspected Al Shabaab terrorists breached Mandera security when they attacked Arabia Secondary School in Lafey on 10th October. The attackers first threw an explosive in the teachers’ residence before they opened fire. Two non-local teachers were killed while two others escaped. Police reservists in the school engaged the attackers forcing them to flee. Police investigations revealed that the attack was masterminded by a Somali national from the neighbouring town of Damasa. At the same time, police also issued an alert over possible attacks targeting security installations and other facilities between Mandera and Elwak. This followed intelligence that for the past two weeks, Al Shabaab militants had been converging in the villages of Hola, Dura, Jiahadaley, Juma and Ilkabere. These villages are in close proximity to the Kenya Somalia border. Members of the public living near the border were asked to maintain a heightened state of vigilance and report any suspicious activity.
On 13th October, four people were killed after a flareup of violence between Gabra and Borana communities in Marsabit County. This brought the death toll from recent fighting between communities to eight, which first started on 6th October in Saku where three people were killed and five others injured. Locals had blamed police reservists in the area for taking sides during the violence and this led to the government disarming them. Despite intervention by police and elders from both sides, the situation remained volatile and on 12th October, more clashes were reported in Moyale town where rival youths from the two communities fought.
Both groups of youth accused each other of robberies; claiming that robbers from each side targeted the other to steal bodabodas. One man was shot dead during the skirmishes. In a security operation to halt the violence, police recovered two firearms. This incident was later followed by the killing of the four people in Shur area. The attackers reportedly threw an explosive inside a manyatta killing the four people before they stole an unknown number of camels. Police were deployed to hunt the attackers. The Inspector General of Police, Joseph Boinett, ordered the arrest of politicians who were linked to mobilizing militia on both sides to ferment trouble.
The number of carjacks reported increased by 100 percent compared to the previous week. These were the highest carjack levels since the first week of September. The increased prevalence suggested that crimes targeting motorists and passengers were becoming widespread. This week, the incidents affected private motorists, trucks as well as matatus. As highlighted elsewhere in this report, the criminals appeared to be targeting those that they perceived as having substantial disposable income.
At least several related incidents were reported in the country. On 11th October, a Nairobi blogger was kidnapped in broad daylight after attending a meeting at a mall in Lavington. The blogger was driven from the city to Juja, where the abductors hit his fingers using a hammer and inflicted some injuries on his ankle. On 9th October, cattle raiders abducted a woman and her two children in Kathangacini, Tharaka Nithi. The criminals later released the woman and one child and abducted the other. On the same day in Kahumbu, Naivasha, a 16 year old boy was abducted on his way home from school and was still missing by the time of the report. In Mwembe Tayari, a man was abducted on 9th October. In another incident on 7th October, two children were abducted as they left church in Thika. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of Kshs 520,000. The children were later released unharmed.
For two days on 11th and 12th October, an unusual form of crime was reported in Gikomba market in Nairobi. According to reports, a large gang of criminals posing as shoppers moved across the market, causing commotion and then mugging people. Market goers as well as traders lost cash and valuable items that included mobile phones. No arrests were reported.
For: Senaca E A Ltd
John Sanga Meimo