Envoys back bid to amend laws on terror

Wednesday December 17 2014

Kenya Defence Forces soldiers patrol a street in Mandera, which is prone to terror attacks. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Defence Forces soldiers patrol a street in Mandera, in this file picture. We have to debate terrorism within the context of religion because that is the excuse. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NATION REPORTER
By NATION REPORTER
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Diplomats from the US, Canada, Australia and the European Union on Wednesday supported the amendments to the security laws proposed by the government to deal with terrorism.

In a joint statement released to newsrooms from the US embassy in Nairobi, the envoys said they stood with Kenya in dealing with what they termed extraordinary security challenges that the country has faced in the past two years.

They also urged MPs to consult and build a consensus in dealing with the laws set for debate Thursday.

“Over the past two years, Kenya has faced extraordinary security challenges. As international partners and long-time friends, we stand with Kenya in the fight to defeat Al-Shabaab and terrorism,” they said.

RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS

At the same time, they said it was critical that the laws respect human rights and international obligations.

“Protecting Kenya’s Constitution and upholding civil liberties and democracy are among the most effective ways to bolster security,” read the statement.

They urged Kenya to continue implementing broader reforms to strengthen its security services.

The statement was signed by ambassadors Robert F. Godec (US), Joost Reintjes (Netherlands), Geert Andersen (Denmark), Rémi Maréchaux (France) and Johan Borgstam (Sweden).

The others are high commissioners Christian Turner (UK), Geoff Tooth (Australia) and David Angell (Canada).