Kenyan authorities have expressed genuine concerns about the political stability, as that country heads to the polls on August 8.
Kenyan police say they expect violence, and have since identified possible flash points ahead of the national vote. However, plans have been made to try and nip any violent outbreak in the bud.
Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet told journalists that force would be met with force, if necessary.
“If violence occurs, then we have to stop it and it means we will use slightly more force that that used by those causing violence,” said Boinnet.
Kenya has been down this road before, in the 2007-2008 elections, where the lack of preparedness for violence was horribly exposed. Boinnet does not want to experience that kind of chaos again. There is a very fine line between using force and outright police brutality.
Boinnet is well aware of it.
“We are not buying items for riot but also have to prepare for the worst. We don’t want a similar situation like 2007 where we were accused of lacking the capacity,” added the police general.
While murmurs of possible violence have started to gather momentum in the past few months, police insist they have been preparing for this since last year. Identifying when and where police intervention is needed will be key.
“Our focus is to deliver a safe and secure environment for Kenyans to exercise their democratic right,” explained Boinnet.
“We have leant our lessons and are now ready to tackle any riot,” added Boinnet.