, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti has singled out terrorism as a major challenge the government is facing as it prepares for the next general election.
Saitoti says the government has put in place all necessary measures to secure the country during the polls, but it is still worried about the increased threat of terrorism.
“This of course is urgent because we will be having a general election soon. It is the desire of Kenyans to have a peaceful election, that is what Kenyans want,” Saitoti said.
“But there is this other burden of terrorism… that is where we need the assistance from friends like you, because this is also something that can disrupt things,” the minister told US Senator Christopher Coons of Delaware and Ambassador Scott Gration who paid him a courtesy call at his Harambee House office Wednesday.
The minister said Kenya is paying a price for a problem that was “never ours because the Al Shabaab have now resorted to even use Improvised Explosive Devices to attack innocent people.”
Saitoti is worried that unless concerted efforts are put in place, the Al Shabaab and other terrorist elements are likely to continue terrorising Kenyans.
“Kenyans want to be peaceful as they elect their leaders. I can assure you we have put in place all the necessary measures,” he said.
He has appealed to the international community to help Kenya maintain security in the country, particularly during the critical poll period.
Senator Coons and Ambassador Gration pledged that the US will continue working closely with the Kenyan security forces in fighting terrorism because it is a global challenge.
Already, Federal Bureau of Investigations detectives are involved in the investigation of Monday’s Moi Avenue blast where 38 people were wounded when a home-made bomb exploded at Assanand’s House.