Kenya: Climate Change and War on Terror Top Agenda of New UK Envoy to Kenya Marriott

8 October 2019

Nairobi — Countering the effects of climate change and the war on terrorism forms part of United Kingdom High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott's top agenda, during her four-year tenure in the country.

Marriott also hopes to enhance Kenya-United Kingdom partnership because they share a "long complicated history ... (with) some good stuff, some not good stuff."

"Where we are starting from now is a country of two equal partner and I really hope to see how we can make the world a better place together," she said Tuesday during an interview in Capital in the Morning hosted by Amina and Fareed.

On terrorism, the UK's focus will be dealing with Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab terror group.

Kenya has been a victim of Al Shabaab's terror activities and although largely weakened, the terror group still manages to launch pockets of small- and large-scale attacks in the country.

This, she said, "is a global issue."

The United Kingdom is a key security partner for Kenya and often, they undertake joint training sessions with the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

There is existing Defence cooperation between the two countries that sees 6 British infantry battalions- about 10,000 service personnel- train in the country with a military base in Nanyuki, Laikipia County.

On Brexit, Marriott said "Our connections are deep. Brexit provides an opportunity to make it even stronger. Trade is crucial... we will negotiate a new trade framework together that will be good for both countries."

In August 2018, former UK Prime Minister Theresa May visited the country during a tour of three African states. In Kenya, it was a first visit by a British Prime Minister in 38 years.

Prior to taking up her current position, Marriott was the Director of UK's Joint International Counter-Terrorism Unit, which is responsible for the overall design of the UK's international counter-terrorism strategies.

The unit brings together expertise from within the Home Office and Foreign Office to tackle international counter-terrorism in a coordinated and effective manner.

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