Nairobi News

GeneralHashtagMust ReadNewsWhat's Hot

All about President Ruto’s foreign security detail in America

By Winnie Mabel September 18th, 2023 2 min read

Whenever a Secretary of State, Heads of States or foreign dignitaries and missions visit the United States of America, they are accorded protective security detail as detailed by the Basic Authorities Act [2709] and carried out by the United States’ Department of State.

The Office of Protection manages the Department’s security program and establishes and maintains effective liaisons with other Department elements, state and government agencies; as well as foreign governments’ diplomatic and official representatives in matters affecting the Department’s protective responsibilities.

Diplomatic Security special agents and security officers such as the Secret Service are authorized to perform protective functions directly related to maintaining the security and safety of heads of a foreign state, official representatives of foreign government and other distinguished visitors while in the United States, and protect foreign missions and international organizations in the United States.

President William Ruto tours Swahili Village in New Jersey. PHOTO| COURTESY

These Special Agents and Secret Service are expected to dress in a certain manner that distinguishes them as special agents, security officer or other authorized official. According to the State Department’s 2 Foreign Affairs Manual Handbook 372.3-3, agents should wear security lapel pins-such as the one that was seen on the agent behind Kenya’s President William Ruto while he was in New Jersey- that quickly identify them as special agents.

“A specific color pin is worn on the lapel identifying the wearer as involved with a security or protective detail, having access to closed areas or authorized VIP escort privileges.  Types of security lapel pins are as follows (1)  A protective security lapel pin is a specifically-designated, colored pin worn on the lapel identifying the wearer as involved with a protective and/or security detail; (2)  A protective security technical support lapel pin is a specific colored pin worn on the lapel identifying the wearer as an authorized technician providing support to a protective and/or security detail;

(3)  Special access pins are issued to Department employees who have a need to reside in a closed area for security reasons, usually due to the visit of a dignitary who is accompanied by a protective detail; and (4)  The VIP escort pin is issued to a Department direct-hire employee with a minimum Top Secret clearance, for the purpose of escorting cabinet, congressional, or ambassador-level visitors into Department facilities.  Security screening for VIP visitors is exempt, unless DS otherwise directs,” read the Department’s policies.

While the Special Agents are legally authorized to temporarily protect the aforementioned visiting dignitaries, the dignitaries also entitled to decline the security protection if they choose so.

In Kenya, President Ruto is often flanked by his Aide-de-Camp, a highly trained senior military officer who handles the President’s itinerary, security, logistics and protocol. In America, however, his Aide-de-Camp, Colonel Fabian Lengusuranga, was visibly absent with his unique military uniform. The President was continuously flanked by an American Special Agent who followed him around the Swahili Village restaurant in New Jersey where he had gone to witness and marvel the achievements of Kenyan entrepreneur Kevin Onyona.

Also read: ANC officials denounce Cleophas Malala, reject UDA merger talk

WATCH: Mnatuona nyani tu! Tanzanian musician Sifa Bujune arrested for ‘inciteful’ song