Kenya pledges to beef up security ahead of polls in August

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Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers patrol Kiunga village near Kenya-Somalia border in Lamu County, Kenya, May 3, 2021. Two people were killed and one critically wounded after a vehicle they were traveling in ran over an explosive device suspected to have been planted by Al-Shabab militants along the Kenya-Somalia border on Monday. (Photo by Joy Nabukewa/Xinhua)
Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers patrol Kiunga village near Kenya-Somalia border in Lamu County, Kenya, May 3, 2021. Two people were killed and one critically wounded after a vehicle they were traveling in ran over an explosive device suspected to have been planted by Al-Shabab militants along the Kenya-Somalia border on Monday. (Photo by Joy Nabukewa/Xinhua)

The Kenyan government said Monday it will beef up security across the country during the August general elections.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said that continuous mapping was being undertaken on election-related security challenges such as hate crime, terrorism, cyber and computer misuse.

“More security officers will be recruited and more equipment procured and deployed to beef up security while election-specific training is ongoing,” Matiang’i told foreign envoys in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

He said the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has intensified activities across the country to promote peaceful electioneering and to foster intercommunity co-existence.

The East African nation will go to the polls on Aug. 9 to elect a new president and national lawmakers, as well as the governors and assemblies of its 47 counties.

The August election is set to be contested between major coalition agreements, Kenya Kwanza headed by Deputy President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja which is led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga with backing from President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Matiang’i added that critical election-management reference materials including the election management security plan, the standards operating procedures for peace and security, the election security management manual and guide to election security training manuals have been developed and distributed to the relevant teams.

He said the National Multi-Agency Command Centre on Election Security has been activated and the reorganization and realignment of security teams undertaken. Enditem

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