13 April 2014

Kenya: Turkish Pact to Mordenise Kenya Police

Nairobi — The Turkish National Police will soon start support programs to upgrade the ability of the Kenya police force to keep the country safe.

This follows a pact entered into by Kenya and Turkey that will see the two forces establish create links that will benefit Kenya.

The arrangement is part of wider commitments on security and defence between the two governments that include closer cooperation on the stabilisation and reconstruction of Somalia.

In addition to sharing of skills between the police forces, Turkey will support upgrading and modernisation of Kenya's security forces as it tackles threats posed by terrorism.

The MoU on Security Cooperation between Kenya Police Service and the Turkish National Police is one of the nine agreements signed when the two nations cemented bilateral ties during President Kenyatta's State visit to Turkey.

Most of the agreements were on business but security was a core issue for President Kenyatta and President Abdulla Gul of Turkey.

Prior to signing the bilateral agreements, the two presidents discussed regional security matters.

"We have reached a commitment to work closely on security and defence," President Kenyatta said, adding that terrorism was a threat to the whole world and must be tackled through a united approach.

President Gul said his country will partner with Kenya in supporting Somalia as well as other regional issues.

"Turkey is making a big contribution in restoring peace in Somalia and Kenya is also playing a major role and we will work together," he said.

While Kenya has deployed its military to stabilize southern parts of Somalia, Turkey has been channelling massive humanitarian aid, rebuilding roads, hospitals and schools. In 2011, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, accompanied by his family and an entourage consisting of Cabinet Ministers and their families, flew on a Turkish Airlines plane to Mogadishu, becoming the first leader from outside Africa to visit Somalia in 20 years.

Turkish Airlines now flies to Mogadishu on a regular basis. Since Erdogan's symbolic visit, Turkey has been setting the pace for the western world in their involvement in Somalia and several nations including the UK followed suit when a Turkish embassy was opened in Mogadishu.

President Kenyatta expressed his appreciation of Turkey's role in the search for lasting peace in Somalia.

"Of key importance are the two conferences on Somalia in 2010 and 2012 that Turkey hosted and whose outcomes intensified international momentum to resolve the Somalia conflict," the President said.

"Kenya is committed to working closely with like-minded countries to collectively seek the stabilization and post-conflict reconstruction of Somalia," the President said.

He also called on Turkey to support the repatriation and re-integration of Somali refugees who have lived in Kenya for more than two decades.

"It is necessary that ways be explored for providing basic infrastructure in the form of water and sanitation, roads, health, as well as support for civic administration in Somalia to enable the refugees to settle down quickly," President Kenyatta concluded.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amb Amina Mohamed who was instrumental in the bilateral negotiations laying the foundations for the agreements, signed the MoU on behalf of Kenya.


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