State urged to equip of­fi­cers on the bor­der

Cops say they use in­fe­rior G3 ri­fles, while al Shabaab have su­pe­rior weapons

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - STEPHEN ASTARIKO @stephenAs­tariko

Two MPs from Garissa county have urged the na­tional gov­ern­ment to in­crease the num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers in camps border­ing So­ma­lia and equip them with mod­ern weapons.

Garissa woman rep­re­sen­ta­tive Shukran Gure and Dadaab MP Mo­hamed Dahiye said the of­fi­cers should match al Shabaab’s fire­power.

They spoke in Garissa town yes­ter­day af­ter vis­it­ing Hamey po­lice post, where three of­fi­cers were killed and one kid­napped af­ter it was at­tacked by al Shabaab last week.

Gure said the of­fi­cers work un­der de­plorable con­di­tions and are ille­quipped. Dahiye said it is emerg­ing that al Shabaab mil­i­tants are tar­get­ing bor­der posts be­cause of their vul­ner­a­bil­ity and poor equip­ment.

Some of the of­fi­cers who spoke to the Star on con­di­tion of anonymity for fear of vic­tim­i­sa­tion said commu- nica­tion is the big­gest prob­lem. “It be­comes dif­fi­cult to com­mu­ni­cate with other re­in­force­ment camps when we are un­der at­tack,” he said.

The of­fi­cers said the weaponry they use is out­dated, but al Shabaab use su­pe­rior arms. “We are us­ing G3 ri­fles, which stop af­ter fir­ing a few bul­lets. This leaves us in the hands of the en­emy,” an of­fi­cer said.

/REUTERS

A po­lice­man takes po­si­tion while pa­trolling the KenyaSo­ma­lia bor­der near Man­dera town on Fe­bru­ary 6, 2015

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