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Regional meet on counter terrorism kicks off Thursday

Suspected Al Shabaab terrorists arrested by Kenyan security forces in this file photo.

Suspected Al Shabaab terrorists arrested by Kenyan security forces in this file photo.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 24 – Deputy President William Ruto will on Thursday open the Regional Conference on Countering Violent Extremism set to be attended by high level security players from 22 African states and 16 others outside the continent.

During the three-day forum, a common approach in dealing with the present terror threat in Africa will be formulated.

Cabinet Secretary for Interior Joseph Nkaissery says Kenya will reap highly from the forum as the government continues to develop a de-radicalisation programme.

“The conference aims to build on the outcome of the White House summit and fundamentally to address violent extremism in the African continent,” he stated.

The forum comes as Kenya undertakes major security measures to counter the Al-Shabaab militants who recently killed 148 people – mainly students – in the Garissa University College attack.

Nkaissery has also reiterated his calls to Kenyans to remain watchful during the period Ramadhan following intelligence report indicating that Al-Shabaab intended to launch attacks in the country.

“Terrorist are people like us…we must remain vigilant,” he said.

To enhance security in the country, the government during 2015-2016 financial year allocated Sh223.9 billion to the security sector, a Sh27 billion increase from the previous allocation.

The Interior Ministry was allocated a massive Sh102.4 billion in a bid to build on the security measures already in place which include enhancing mobility and modernising the service while Sh112 billion was channelled to the Ministry of Defence and the National Intelligence Service.

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To enhance police mobility further, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich allocated Sh7.7 billion to leasing of police vehicles, Sh15 billion for military modernisation, Sh10 billion for police service modernisation and Sh1.7 billion for police medical scheme.

The Kenya Defence Forces fighting Al-Shabaab terror group in Somalia serving under AMISOM has been allocated Sh6.4 billion while Sh4.4 billion will go towards fighting poaching.

The massive allocation of resources, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said, depicts the commitment of the Jubilee Government to enhance security in the country.

The Al-Qaeda linked militias have continued with their incursions within the Kenyan jurisdiction more so along the North Eastern part of the country that boarders the war torn Somalia.

This has been attributed to the porous borders although the government has since started constructing a massive wall to curb the trend.

The government also intends to move the Dadaab refugee camp – widely seen as a breeding site for terrorist – to safe ground within Somalia among other measures.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to address the conference on Saturday.

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