TO ALL EDITORS, 17th JANUARY 2019
The Police Reforms Working Group hereby condemn the heinous attack and brutality meted against innocent Kenyans at 14 Riverside Drive on Tuesday, the 14th of January 2019.
We send our sincerest condolences to the families of the victims of Tuesday afternoon’s terrorist attack on 14 Riverside drive including the brave officer who died in the line of duty. We join the families, rest of the country, and indeed the whole world in praying for the quick recovery of the injured and those who suffered traumatic experiences during this attack.
We appreciate the quick response and efforts of the first responders: journalists, police, the Kenya Red Cross and other good Samaritans that supported the efforts to save the lives of our brothers and sisters during the attack. Your bravery and selflessness in that very trying moment cannot be adequately rewarded.
We note of the exemplary job of the National Police Service joint command, led by the IG Boinett and other senior officers, both local and international, in the search and rescue operations. We are aware that the first police officers arrived promptly at the scene. During the whole incident, the officers behaved in a most professional manner, bravely forging forward to engage the terrorists, but also being mindful of the victims and calmly reassuring them to safety.
The clear coordination of efforts confirms that the NPS has learned from the past, and is looking ahead to build coherence and effectiveness in policing. This, is indeed the kind of National Police Service envisaged in the Constitution of Kenya and the National Police Service Act.
In addition to the on-the-ground operations, we congratulate the NPS for their regular and concise updates to the public through the press conferences. These have indeed been received well by the public, who were reassured that the situation was being handled professionally, with the ultimate aim to minimize panic, eliminate the distortion of facts, and to remain accountable. This operation has sparked public confidence in the police.
The swift role played
by neighbors and members of the public
in alerting the police to the homes of the attackers, underlines the
urgency in which we should role out Community Policing at all police
jurisdictions across the country as envisaged in the Constitution and the NPS Act.
These local security initiatives that are anchored on community
police partnerships must of necessity
properly resourced in order to discharge their mandates properly, and act as a first line of intelligence gathering.
We are our brother’s keepers and can quickly track those who behave suspiciously within our neighborhoods, and pass on this intelligence as soon as possible to the police. These efforts, seemingly small, will go a long way in improving our security right from our village, mtaa or manyatta.
We will endeavor to continue, among others, to support the capacity building of the local security initiatives, especially the Community Policing Committees, Forums (communities at large, as well as the National Police Service, to ensure that we develop and strengthen a model and ethos of vigilance in our communities. We call upon the NPS to continue building public trust through responsible policing actions and accountability. We will remain a constant partner with the NPS on this.
May God Bless Kenya,
Independent Medico-Legal Unit, Kenya Human Rights Commission, National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders, Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, International Commission for Jurists, International Justice Mission, Amnesty International- Kenya, Usalama Reforms Forum, International Centre for Transitional Justice, Legal Resources Foundation, Rights Promotion and Protection Centre, Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Coalition on Violence against Women, Kenyans for Peace, Truth and Justice, Transparent International – Kenya, Peace Brigade International, Chemichemi ya Ukweli, Shield for Justice, Social Justice Centre Groups and HAKI Africa.