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Uhuru’s counter-terrorism strategy is more important now

Sunday January 12 2020

MEGAN ANYANGO
By MEGAN ANYANGO
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The recent attacks against American army base  in Kenya brought the issue of terror back into the headlines.

By attacking American soldiers and US Department of Defence contractors, Al-Shabaab perpetrated an attack against Kenya’s partners and allies.

This is part of their campaign to harm the security of our nation. There have been terror threats for years.

The threat posed to our country by terror groups such as Al-Shabaab led to the stationing of foreign troops in East Africa.

Working with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenyan security forces, our American partners have been gathering intelligence and combat terror.

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
This cooperation is part of an international strategy employed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to fight terror.

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Bases such as Camp Simba, which opened in 2017 and became a permanent installation in 2019, play an integral role in keeping Kenyans  safe.
This cooperation has been instrumental in both pre-empting and responding to terror attacks.

After the attack on Camp Simba, a suspect was  arrested. The suspect, of Canadian-Somalian origin, was scouting out a Kenyan Defense Forces Air Force Base for what might have been a follow up attack to the one executed on January 5 , 2020.

Similar international counter-terrorism cooperation led to the arrest of three other suspects as they tried to gain access to a British military base in Laikipia.
Despite being highly skilled and well-trained, the Kenyan Defense Forces cannot face the terror threats alone threat of terror alone. 

TERROR THREATS

No individual country, no matter how strong and well-equipped it is, can adequately address terror threats independently.

This is the regional counter-terrorism strategy that President Kenyatta has been working on since 2013. The strategy has helped in preventing looming attacks.
The European Union’s (EU) domestic cooperation in combating similar threats from the Islamic State is a great case study for understanding the importance of the regional and international cooperation advocated for by President Kenyatta. EU level cooperation began after a string of deadly attacks across Europe by ISIS.
THREATS
 In response, the EU created the European Counter Terrorism Center (ECTC), an institution that is jointly overseen by member states to fight terror.

Since its creation in 2016, information sharing has increased and the capacity of the EU to conduct counter-terrorism investigations increased by 50 per cent.

As the old saying goes, united we stand divided we fall. Uhuru’s work to unite East African nations facing similar threats is more important now than ever before. Unfortunately, the threat of terror is not going away any time soon.

After Al-Qaeda was defeated by the United States, the Islamic State popped up. Despite the Islamic State being defeated, Al-Shabaab still threatens the world.

When Al-Shabaab is eventually defeated, we can be certain that the threat will continue  through an enemy with a different name.

 The only way to ensure that we win this war is to be more prepared than the enemy.

We need a two-fold strategy which enables us to both pre-empt, and if need be, respond to the threat at hand.

The way to do this most effectively, we must work together with our regional partners. The importance of showing our support for this is paramount for its success. 

Ms Anyango is a social commentator. [email protected]

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