, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 6 – Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to scale up cooperation in the war against terrorism, drug trafficking and poaching.
Speaking Monday during bilateral talks at State House, Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Jakaya Kikwete affirmed the commitment of the two countries in curbing the vices as they also forge closer ties in trade and economic development.
On terrorism, President Kenyatta said – as neighbours with strong bonds of friendship – the two countries must continue to work together in a coordinated manner in the fight against the global menace.
“Your country has in the past suffered, just like Kenya, in the hands of these merciless individuals, and we must use the strongest possible action to stop the unnecessary violence that threatens the safety, security and prosperity of our peoples,” President Kenyatta said.
As the two countries improve their counterterrorism efforts, President Kenyatta said they must continue to address the catalytic factors that provide fodder for radicalisation of children and the youth.
He cited creation of jobs for the youth, promoting education, ensuring equity in the distribution of national wealth and public participation in decision making as some of the initiatives that would help to eliminate terrorism.
With the same vigour, President Kenyatta said the two governments should also remain steadfast in curbing drug trafficking and use that has become a thorny problem of concern to the region.
“We need to consolidate efforts within our borders through heightened surveillance intelligence to stem out this vice,” President Kenyatta said.
He assured that Kenya was firm in its resolve to decimate terrorism and drug trafficking so as to safeguard the future of the generations to come.
On his part, President Kikwete said time has come for the two countries to deal firmly with proponents of radicalization and drug trafficking.
“We must ensure that we close all the avenues that lead to the radicalization of our youths. We must also step up mechanisms that will make it difficult for drug barons to peddle their wares,” President Kikwete said.
He emphasised that by working jointly, Kenya and Tanzania stand a better chance of ending poaching, which is a major threat to wildlife in both countries.
President Kenyatta thanked President Kikwete for undertaking the State Visit to Kenya. He said President Kikwete’s visit, coming at a time when he is about to end his tenure as President of Tanzania, reaffirms the existing mutually beneficial ties between the two countries.
“Our two countries are eternally bound by a common destiny in which our citizens aspire to enjoy the promise of a region endowed with endless possibilities and opportunities,” President Kenyatta said.
He added: “Our strategic partnership and close collaboration has been and continues to be the foundation of our stability in the region, thus providing the much needed momentum for growth and development.”
The two leaders observed that Kenya and Tanzania continue to make progress within the framework of the Joint Commission for Cooperation.
Through the Joint Commission for Cooperation, the two countries have worked together on regular basis to enhance cooperation in areas of mutual benefit including in immigration, security, public service, infrastructure, agriculture, environment, trade and investment, health and education among many others.