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Changes and Challenges of the Kenya Police Reserve: The Case of Turkana County

  • Kennedy Mkutu Agade

In rural Kenya, the main visible security force is the Kenya Police Reserve, an unpaid force guarding localities and armed by the state. Turkana County faces challenges of low state penetration, small arms flows, and armed intercommunal conflict. The state has a weak hold on Kenya Police Reservists (KPRs) and their arms, and this situation is weakening further as many move into paid private security roles, including guarding oil exploration and drilling sites. Security is critical in view of the recent oil discovery and ensuing land disputes which could trigger widespread conflict, and the recent devolution of development and administrative functions to counties in Kenya.

Dans le Kenya rural, la force principale visible de sécurité est la police réserviste du Kenya, une force non rémunérée armée par l'État, engagée pour protéger les localités. Le comté de Turkana fait face à des problèmes de faible pénétration de l'État dans les réseaux criminels, d’échanges d'armes légères, et de conflits armés intercommunaux. L’État a une faible emprise sur la police du Kenya (les réservistes KPR) et leurs armes, et celle-ci diminue encore depuis le départ de policiers vers des postes rémunérés dans le secteur privé, y compris celui de la surveillance de sites d’exploration et de forage de pétrole. La sécurité de ces sites est essentielle compte-tenu que la découverte récente de pétrole a engendré des conflits fonciers qui pourraient déclencher un conflit généralisé, et compte tenu de la décentralisation récente au Kenya des fonctions de développement et d’administration vers les comtés.

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