, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18 – President Uhuru Kenyatta left the country for Ethiopia on Saturday where he was scheduled to attend a security summit that focuses on how to confront the politicization of religion.
The President was to attend the fourth Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa that is being held at Bahir Dar, Ethiopia with the theme ‘Secularism and Politicised Faith’.
He was later in the afternoon to proceed to the Kingdom of Jordan for the Horn of Africa Coordination Meeting hosted by Jordan and whose focus is how to fight terrorism and radicalization.
The Tana forum in Ethiopia, which will be attended by more than 200 participants including Heads of State, focuses on finding African solutions for Africa’s security challenges.
This year’s meeting is dedicated to addressing the dangers posed by the increased politicization and manipulation of religion at a time many countries in Africa including Kenya are faced with violence perpetrated by criminals who exploit and mask their activities with religion.
It has attracted panels of African heads of state, eminent African personalities, academics, and policy makers who will talk on African secularism and faith-branded security threats.
At the Horn of Africa Coordination Meeting at Aqaba, Jordan, President Kenyatta will speak on the status of the war against terrorism and how the Government is dealing with its complexities.
One of the issues President Kenyatta will speak on is the danger posed to Kenya by the continued instability in Somalia.
“The continued state of instability in Somalia – which is compounded by inability to control territories that have been liberated or that are still in the hands of the Al Shabaab is limiting Kenya’s ability to deal with the threats,” the President is expected to say in his speech.
President Kenyatta will also highlight the risks posed to Kenya by the continued presence of more than half a million refugees – who have now been here for 24 years – and will present Kenya’s position that it is no longer an issue of humanitarian nature but of a security nature.
“In many ways, this complex (refugee camps) has brought the war frontier –right inside Kenya. It is this reality that explains the imperative to facilitate repatriation of refugees” the President will say in his speech.
The President will also touch on how terror networks are exploiting the democratic nature of Kenya and its Constitution.
“Because we are an open society, with a range of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and rights, we have been victims of terrorists and their agents, who appropriate these democratic values to hurt, maim, kill our people and destroy our property” he is expected to say.
The meeting, hosted by King Abdullah II, will be attended by other leaders from the Horn of Africa.
Before entering JKIA, President Kenyatta toured a modern car screening yard at the entrance of the airport.
The 16-lane car screening yard enhances the safety of the airport and also makes it faster to screen vehicles entering the facility.
The President was seen off at the airport by Deputy President William Ruto and other senior Government officials.