20 June 2014

Kenya: Terrorism Spreading in East Africa, President Warns

Nairobi, 20th June 2014, (PSCU) President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned that terrorism is spreading fast and the world must work together to stop radicalization in Somalia.

He called on the international community to join hands with Kenya and plan how to stabilize Somalia.

"We want friends to come and talk to us. Terrorism is mutating, the longer we take to deal with it the more we allow it to spread. Currently, it is spreading through radicalization in Pemba and Zanzibar. All these groups are being trained in Somalia," he said.

President Kenyatta said Kenya bears the brunt of instability in Somalia which has had no central Government for more than 20 years.

"This is not a problem of our own making; it is a problem from Somalia. The nation has been used as a breeding ground for terrorism and it affects our security directly and indirectly," President Kenyatta said.

The President made the remarks this morning when he held discussions with the European Union Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.

Mr. Piebalgs said the European Union is ready to partner with the Kenyan Government in dealing with terror activities within the country and at regional level.

He said terrorism is a major international challenge and nations should work together to eradicate it.

He noted that most countries are affected by terror activities and cited a recent incident in Belgium where three people were killed and another seriously injured at a Jewish museum in Brussels.

While conveying his condolences to the President following the recent Mpeketoni attack where more than 50 people were killed, Mr. Piebalgs called for the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the heinous act.

"Justice must be served to the victims and the perpetrators of this evil act be punished to help in the process of healing," said Mr. Piebalgs.

He said the Kenya Government would appreciate funding in the security sector to modernize equipment and also restructure its security infrastructure.

"We need a much better way of identifying criminals. This will minimize cases of harassment of innocent wananchi. We want to deploy technology in dealing with criminal activities in the country," he said.

Mr. Piebalgs said the European Union wants to urgently conclude the Economic Partnership Agreement so as to disburse development grants to Kenya.

He affirmed the EU's commitment in enhancing economic and security cooperation with Kenya saying much can be achieved when all agreements are concluded.

"Security is the main issue and the European Union wants the agreements concluded so as to give grant which will help in financing".

He further said there is need to help in dealing with humanitarian situation especially relocating Somali people back to their safe havens.

However, the EU Commissioner said the international community will engage IGAD in ensuring that public resources sent to Somali and South Sudan are managed in a transparent and accountable manner.

President Kenyatta also held discussions with the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre Ms Arancha Gonzalez where they agreed on the need to come up with strategies of improving local produced commodities through value addition.

Ms Gonzalez said it is through value addition of locally produced agricultural goods that the country would be able fetch better prices for its exports.

" Am currently working on a project in Zanzibar where we are adding value to their cloves and branding the same. This project has been able to see cloves bring in between 20-30 increase of revenue to the island" she said.

She noted that with a huge rural population, Kenya can be able to do much through Small and Medium Enterprises if the ministries concerned come up with an export development structure.

"I think it is no brainer to brand tea rather than sell in bulk," she said.

She said through a central structure, the Government will be able to identify good markets for the local produced goods.

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