Ruto banks on Somali-Kenyans in security sector as Haji lands NIS job


NAIROBI, Kenya - The nomination of Noordin Haji to the critical National Intelligence Service [NIS] completes the remarkable placement of Kenya-Somalis in the security sector, a rare show of trust to the people from the northeastern part of the country which has remained marginalized for several decades.

In a statement, Ruto nominated Haji to the distinguished post, a department that he had left six years ago following his appointment as the Director of Public Prosecutions [DPP]. He was a close ally of former President Uhuru Kenyatta before transitioning albeit silently to William Ruto's camp in the run-up to the 2022 elections.

“The President has, in accordance with Section 7(1) of the National Intelligence Service Act, nominated Mr. Noordin Haji, CBS, for appointment as the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service,” reads a statement signed by the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Felix Koskei.

"Haji returns to NIS after a six-year sojourn as DPP. Before becoming the nation's apex public prosecutor, he served as deputy director counter-organized crime unit within the NIS," added the statement, while thanking outgoing NIS boss Maj. General [Rtd] Philip Kameru for "exceptional services" to the country.

Haji's nomination will have to be approved by the National Assembly where President William Ruto enjoys almost absolute majority. He is the son of former Defense Minister and long-time Garissa politician Yusuf Haji, who died sometime last year before realizing monumental constitutional changes.

Within the security, sector, Ruto seems to be trusting Kenya-Somalis, a complete turn from the past where those in power trusted their tribesmen. Last year, Ruto appointed Aden Duale, another seasoned Garissa politician as the minister of defense, a docket that is responsible for decision-making on matters of national security.

Also, the president picked Mohamed Amin as the Directorate of Criminal Investigations [DCI], a component within the security sector that initiates criminal prosecution within the service. The post was left vacant by the unprecedented exit of George Kinoti, a close ally of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta.

For Military Intelligence, Brigadier Abdikadir Burje was recently picked by Dr. Ruto, who has shown immense trust to the people of Northern Frontier Districts [NFDs], a region that was formerly neglected by successive regimes. Ruto failed to beat opposition leader Raila Odinga in the counties of Garissa, Mandera, and Wajir counties.

The men who are now critical in security circles have been bestowed with responsibilities to safeguard the security of ordinary citizens. Recently, Duale was one of the key members of ministerial teams from Kenya and Somalia which made key decisions in reopening the border between the two countries in three phases.


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