Kenya’s Mandera County reports a major turnout at the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) recruitment. On Monday, 28 August, the KDF recruitment drive officially commenced, spanning 31 out of the 47 counties and featuring some of the 374 recruitment centres across the country.
Mandera County, KENYA. By Yahya:
In Mandera, a county that shares a long porous border with Somalia, more than 400 young individuals gathered at the recruitment centre. The gathering revealed a noticeable gender imbalance, with only four young women participating amidst a significantly larger male turnout.
In a press briefing with KBC, Senior Recruitment Officer Lt. Col. Paul Njue expressed his satisfaction with the initial turnout, praising the encouraging numbers. Lt. Col. Njue also reported that a substantial number of young candidates faced disqualification during the rigorous screening process. Most disqualifications in Mandera stemmed from academic grades D- and below, which is less than required, possession of fraudulent documents, and non-compliance with age, height, and weight prerequisites.
The recruitment process commenced with an initial briefing on the requirements, disseminated through various media channels, followed by comprehensive physical and medical assessments and verification of the legitimacy of all essential documents.
Crucially, Lt. Col. Njue stressed that, to date, there have been no reported incidents of bribery among the recruits, reaffirming the commitment to conducting exhaustive checks on all recruits to prevent any form of corruption.
Soon to face al-Shabaab
The recruits who successfully complete the training might be soon deployed in the regions bordering Somalia. Mandera, Wajir, Lamu and Garissa have faced an increase in activities of the terrorist group al-Shabaab, which has been targeting both civilians and security personnel in the affected counties. The heightened attacks pose a significant security threat in the region, prompting relevant authorities to gather and discuss potential strategies and responses.
Mandera’s Governor recently remarked that al-Shabaab controls 60% of Mandera’s territory. Al-Shabaab, recently pushed towards the Kenyan border by the Somali government’s offensive, seeks to further expand its Kenyan operations. Frequent attacks in Lamu County should serve as the most urgent warning sign.
The KDF recruitment exercise will continue until 8 September 2023.