NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 10 – Italy has offered 25 scholarships to Garissa University College students who survived the deadly terrorist attack on Thursday last week.
Visiting Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni said his country was deeply saddened by the happenings in Garissa where Al Shabaab terrorists descended on the university and killed 148 people, most of them students.
He said the 25 students will be offered full scholarship to study and complete their courses in Italian universities. In addition the Italian Government will extend some soft loan to Kenya to help settle the students in the aftermath of the attack.
Gentiloni said the Italian population had received the news with profound shock and wants their government to assist Kenya in combating terrorism.
“My government wants to work closely with Kenyan Government to make sure terrorism is checked. We are very keen to ensure stabilization of Somalia which is the base of Al Shabaab terror group.
“We are also offering Kenya training opportunities for its officers to capacity-build on anti-terror squad,” said the Minister.
He said sharing of intelligence information at government level will be enhanced in an effort to stem terror from the roots.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Amina Mohamed thanked Gentiloni whose visit had only one agenda; to discuss the tragic terrorist attack with a view to strengthening Italian Government support in the fight against terrorism.
“To confront an invisible and unpredictable enemy which can strike any time and in any part of the country, we need highly trained rapid deployment security units that should be stationed in various parts of the country, and especially the most vulnerable areas. Kenya therefore welcomes support for our efforts in training and adequately equipping more officers who will be deployed to handle challenges of the terrorist variety,” said Mohamed.
“As a nation, we have suffered immense emotional distress through the loss of irreplaceable precious lives. This heart wrenching experience has hardened our resolve to confront and defeat this monstrous evil. Although we are bloodied, we remain firmly unbowed.”
She said Kenya is seeking to strengthen partnerships and cooperation with other actors in the international arena in confronting terrorism and violent extremism. This will be done through prioritizing prevention of radicalization and recruitment as a strategy of dealing with terror at its roots.
“This strategy underlines the urgent need to gather intelligence information in order to identify and apprehend not only those planning attacks but also those preaching violent extremist ideologies and undertaking recruitment exercises in education institutions, mosques, the internet, prisons, in communities and in all other possible fora,” said Mohamed.