International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) strongly condemn the horrible, cowardly and despicable Al Shabaab terrorist attack in Yumbis area of Garissa County in North Eastern Kenya targeting and resulting in the murder of innocent police officers as well as the destruction of security vehicles. Acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
ICPC restates that the terrorist attacks and bombings targeting police officers especially those in their line of duty is strictly against both local and international laws. Security officers are entrusted with the special responsibility to maintain the law and order in a state as well as to protect civilians; therefore, any terrorist crime against them directly defies the rule of law in the country.
We stress that terrorist activities threatens the safety, stability and security of constitutional democratic society, thus such acts of violence against security personnel aims to sow seeds of terror and fear amongst the civilian population.
ICPC and wider civil society continues to insist on major reforms of the national intelligence service, national police service and other law enforcement agencies in order to effectively respond to ever changing security dynamics in the country and the region. The current knee jerk reactive security and law enforcement policies in Kenya are ill defined, incoherent and ineffective. Kenya is not under-policed. It is badly policed by corrupt, inept and impunity ridden security and law enforcement agencies.
The first step to security is establishing credible, impartial, capable and accountable operational security organs enjoying public trust and legitimacy and establishing effective civilian oversight institutions to hold to account security organs.
At no time in Kenyaâ€™s history has there been a greater need for professional national police service. The current security crisis in Kenya has brought police reform to the top of the national agenda. While national police service as agency law enforcement agency should be the primary tool to address the countryâ€™s crime problems, the police is viewed as part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
The starting point is major reforms, restructure and reorganization of entire security and law enforcement system to address systemic structural, institutional, cultural and procedural failures. Security sector reforms are not equal to appointing personnel and or change of guard at the helm. It is deeply disturbing that law enforcement
agencies and security institutions remain unsurprisingly highly politicized, compromised, ethnicized and corrupt.
It is the core responsibility of the internal security and law enforcement agencies namely the National Police Service, National Intelligence Service and Immigration Service to protect and ensure safety of the country internally. It is the failure on part of these discredited corruption ridden internal security and law enforcement agencies to execute their constitutional mandate diligently, and inability of the political executive and national parliament to effectively hold them to account that has caused security deterioration in Kenya.
The government of Kenya inadequacy in prevention of, and lackluster response to, persistent senseless attacks exposes serious weaknesses in setting national security policy priorities. It further shows lack of integration, coherence and coordination of security structures; dysfunctional joint security and intelligence assessments by security institutions both civilian and operational agencies; non-existence or limited accountability in resources allocation and utilization; severe deficit of effective oversight mechanisms of security agencies; and finally gross inappropriate emergency preparedness and response coordination.
Finally, we observe that there has not been a cross-government organised security and crime prevention strategy, coordinated border policing, and strong national tasking and coordination agency. Instead, there are disjointed and compartmentalized responsibilities for policy and operational operating in silos