History of Rapid Response in Administration Police
In essence, the whole Administration Police is rapidly deployable in event of war or emergency in accordance with the Administration Police Act section 5 (ii). Throughout the 1960s it was deployed regularly to fight the shifta menace in North Eastern Kenya, the poaching wars of the seventies and eighties and warlike activities in the North Rift from the eighties. The practice was to detatch elements from less challenged Districts and APTC staff and coursemen to specifically counter certain hostilities.
During that same period certain Ad-hoc units were also formed to address specific localized situations.
- Anti-Shifta Unit - Formed in 1980 and was based at Garissa District
- Anti-Bandit Unit – Formed in 1986, based in Tana River and Lamu districts
- Rapid Anti-Bandit Unit – Formed in 1997, based at AP Training College. It was later changed to
- Rapid Deployment Force
Notwithstanding all the sterling efforts of the force during these operations, the sustainability of these operations were often limited.
It is with this in mind that the inception of the Rapid Deployment Unit was effected in the year 2000. The Unit which receives additional tactical training brings the advantages of;
- Having specifically dedicated and prepared personnel
- Possessing ready supplies, transport and support
- Regular training and updating
- Not interrupting AP duties in the unaffected districts
The unit is now fully operational under a commanding officer ACAP D. G. Mawinyi.
The unit may be called to any part of Kenya to respond for a limited duration to any emergency or threat
to law and order. The unit is also well conversant with and applies humane and community based style in restoring law and order.
DEPLOYMENT OF RDU
Rapid Deployment Unit since its inception has undertaken several assignments to contain law and order
Among such operations are;
“Linda Amani” – Tana River District ( Nov 2001 – May 2002)
To restore peace between the warring tribes of Pokomo and Orma over various resource based issues and political instigation, one company was deployed. During the operation assorted automatic rifles and home made guns were recovered and normalcy restored using negotiation and peace building skills.
Isiolo District ( Aug 2002 – Jan 2003)
Two platoons of the RDU were deployed in isiolo district in 2002 to contain rising acts of thuggery and tribal skirmishes between Borana and Somali communities along the Wajir/Isiolo border. The clashes were exacerbated by perennial rainfall shortage which reduced water points in the area. The upcoming elections of December were also a catalyst.
RDU personnel managed to contain the situation and recovered home made guns, crude weapon and assorted automatic firearms, and the elections were held in relative peace.
Laikipia District (October, 2003)
Prolonged drought and late rains severely threatened nomadic pastoralists leading to invasion of predominantly settler owned ranches by maasai herders. RDU first secured possession of the ranches then proceeded to broker agreement on pasture sharing between the contending parties. The operation was so effective that RDU presence was no longer necessary after three weeks
Likia/Mau-Narok – Nakuru district ( June – Sept, 2004)
In June, 2004 the government declared Mau-Narok forest be vacated by squatters who were destroying
rainfall catchment. The government verdict was met with resistance which precipitated the deployment of security personnel among them one Company of RDU to enforce the order. After the withdrawal of other security agents, RDU personnel remained on the ground to mop up any evaders.The exercise was carried out with utmost humanity and consideration.
Fire fighting in Trans-Nzoia, Eburu and Koibatek (Feb, 2005)
In February, 2005 a company of RDU personnel were deployed to put off wild fires in Trans Nzoia, Eburu and Koibatek forests. In Trans Nzoia they tackled two forest fires, one on Mt Elgon and the other in Kabolet bordering West Pokot and Marakwet districts. On extinguishing the same they proceeded to koibatek and Eburu in Nakuru putting off the fires after several days. While in Trans Nzoia they averted a skirmish which was looming in a contentious settlement.
West Pokot District (April 2005)
On April, 2005 a company of RDU was deployed in the areas of Tilau, Kaibos, Siyoi and Kipsait also covering Lelan, Kamatira and Kaboret forests in West Pokot. The operation was to recover firearms and contain lawlessness. Several weapons were recovered.
Baringo District (September 2005 - April 2006)
On 30th September, 2005 two platoons of Rapid Deployment Unit were sent to Baringo district to disrupt tribal clashes between Njemps and Pokot in Rugus sub-location in Makutano division.
The unit managed to restore peace in the area and achieved among others;
- The re-opening of schools in the affected area
- Recovery of stolen livestock
- Repair of access roads in the area through community policing and food for work programmes and Construction of an AP Camp.
- Marsabit - Moyale (September 2006)
Two platoons were deployed alongside Kenya Army operating from Sololo and Moyale to flush out alleged Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) guerillas. The exercise which lasted 30 days served to assure a neighbouring country that Kenya is not harbouring rebels and insurgents. Thirty one arrests, one rifle and assorted paraphenalia were recovered.
Laikipia/Samburu (October 2006 ongoing)
Two platoons are deployed to stem cattle rustling and animosity arising over conflict between herders and small scale farmers. A truce has bee brokered with the farmers, however cattle raiders from a neighbouring District have maintained some tension.
Kuresoi (October 2006 ongoing)
One platoon is based at Kuresoi, Kamatira area to prevent arsonists and ease ethnic tensions which had flared up.
Liboi (November 2006)
A recce group and pioneer element have advanced to scout the area in response to cross border incursions from Somalia.