NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – Kenya will host a regional intelligence focal point for countries along the Northern corridor to coordinate sharing of information on security challenges in the region.
The Joint Intelligence Centre in Karen will bring together spies from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan in a bid to combat terror threats, cyber crime, human trafficking among major security threats within the corridor.
The centre was adopted by the respective security ministers with Kenya’s Joseph Nkaissery saying the cooperation will include enhancement of border protection.
“This will include joint training on investigation gathering,” he stated. “We want to come out with solutions of how we can manage security within the Northern corridor.”
Uganda Minister for Internal Affairs General Nyakarima Aronda on his part said a common approach to security challenges will help improve the situation.
“All development if based on good security and safety of people…we want to ensure this happens by making a good strategy of prevention,” he stated.
Also present was Rwanda Internal Minister Gen. Nyakairima Aranda who also supported the move.
Kenya is expected to reap highly from hosting the centre, the major security challenge being terror posed by the Al-Shabaab militia who have consistently launched attacks mostly in the North Eastern region.
Kenya also hosts the largest refugee camp, Dadaab that is believed to be a breeding ground for terrorist and radicalization of youths.
Already reports indicate that tens of youths in the country have joined the group but the government has since started a de-radicalization programme.
Both Kenya and Uganda have their Defence Forces in Somalia a move that has provoked the terror group.
Al-Shabaab has launched a retaliation campaign to pressurize the Kenyan government to withdraw its forces that continue to destabilize the group and controls Kismayu port, what used to be their operational ground.
Proliferation of illicit small firearms in the country due to the war in Somalia has worsened the situation, a similar scenario for the country within the Northern corridor.
In Kenya, police confiscated 5,000 illegal arms since 2011 to date, although the numbers of illegal arms in the hands of civilians remains high in the country at 500,000.
Director of Kenya National Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons William Sayia on Thursday said more effort is being made to reduce the numbers of illegal arms in the hands of civilians which have been attributed to insecurity experienced in most parts of the country.
Among the measures put in place include marking of State owned firearms, which he said already 90 percent are marked, to ensure they are not used to commit crime.
“One of the reasons the marking of State owned firearm is being enhanced is this element of accountability,” he stated. “This will curb the use of licit fire arm.
Since we started marking the firearm, there have been very minimal cases of state fire arm being used to carry out criminal activities.”
Cattle rustling, which has since turned commercial has also escalated due to easy access of firearm but Kenya Interior Secretary said already a disarmament exercise is already under way in the areas affected.