East Africa: Terrorism Poses Threat to Peace Within EAC, Says Secretary General

Arusha — The East African Community (EAC) has admitted that terrorists pose a threat to peace and security in the region.

Due to this, the EAC secretary general, Liberat Mfumukeko, has stressed the need for the six partner states to fully cooperate in addressing the menace.

He expressed the regional organization's concern in his condolence message to the Kenyan government in the wake of the recent killing of its security officers by suspected Al Shabaab terrorists.

During the October 12th attack in Garissa County, eleven officers of Kenya's paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU) were killed.

Al Shabbab, the Somalia-based terrorist outfit, has been blamed for most of the deadly attacks near the border with Somalia, and also in Nairobi.

"The incident is a stark reminder of the threat posed by the terrorists to peace and security in East Africa," he said in a message copied to media houses.

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The eleven officers were attacked when in the line of duty at Harehare Camp along the Kenya-Somali border.

"We mourn the demise of these brave officers," said Mr Mfumukeko in a message sent to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Since late in 2011, Kenya has seen an upsurge of violent terrorist attacks carried out by Al Shabaab in retaliation for Kenya's deployment of its military to defend the western-backed government in Mogadishu.

At one time, the cumulative attacks affected the country's multi-billion dollar tourism industry, with the western countries issuing travel advisories.

The last series of terrorist attacks took place in January this year targeting the Dusit D2 Hotel in Nairobi during which over 20 people were killed.

In another attack in Kenya's capital city in September 2013, over 70 people died in the four-day siege at the Westgate Mall.

At its last Summit in Arusha, the EAC reiterated that the application by Somalia for admission into the Community would remain on-hold due to fears of terrorism. "We have to work together to fight terrorism," said President Paul Kagame of Rwanda who is the current chairman of the EAC.

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