Kenyan leaders upset by military force

Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A decision by the Kenyan president to deploy military forces to respond to the killing of more than 40 police officers may have been illegal, lawmakers said.

More than 40 policemen and three attackers were killed in Kenya this week when they tried to seize stolen cattle taken from Rift Valley province.

A lawmaker in charge of a parliamentary defense committee this week said the government shouldn't have sent national defense forces to respond to the incident.

Kenyan Labor Minister John Munyes joined counterparts in expressing concern that military forces could be intimidating local residents.

Wildlife Deputy Minister Josephat Nanok was quoted by the Daily Nation newspaper in Kenya as saying Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki "was ill advised by his close security aides and they must step aside and be investigated."

His counterparts said it was against the constitution to deploy military forces without lawmakers' approval.

Kenya has presidential elections next year and lawmakers suggested a military deployment may have interfered with voter registration.

More than 1,000 people were killed during fighting between supporters of Kibaki and those of rival Raila Odinga following presidential elections in 2007.

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