NAIROBI - Police have tightened around Nairobi just hours before key suspects in the 2007 post election violence are named by the International Criminal Court.
While urging the public to remain calm after the names are revealed at The Hague, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said heavy deployment had been made in areas that were worst affected by the chaos. “Concerns have been made from several quarters that this event will ignite violence in some parts. We assure the public that we have made adequate security arrangements in all areas of the country to forestall any eventuality,” he said. The police chief alluded to intelligence reports saying “criminal elements planned to take the opportunity to break the law". He warned that his officers would deal with perpetrators “firmly and swiftly".
Politicians were also asked to handle the outcome of The Hague announcement in the interest of security, stability and rule of law in the country.
Notices warning of planned demonstrations was sent to provincial police commands and other formations of the police last week. The reports mention the Rift Valley as a hot spot, but commanders across the country had been ordered to be on the lookout. The briefs further warn in the event demonstrators turn rowdy, officers should be restrained from confronting them with live ammunition.
Intelligence officers, police sources said, have for months been gathering information covertly in areas that were hit by the violence with the aim of establishing if there are threats of fresh violence. At the same time, Provincial Security and Intelligence Committees were asked to seek politicians, who would turn reach out to their supporters and advise them against causing chaos.