Uhuru in Mombasa,calls for regional strategy to fight terror
President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged regional police chiefs to consolidate their efforts in combating terrorism and other crimes.
He said security challenges in East Africa, including the rise in terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and crimes against the environment, could be dealt with faster if members states worked in solidarity.
“It is also in our best interest to tighten our collaboration in intelligence gathering and in the execution of the programmes that we agree together,” President Kenyatta said.
The President spoke on Wednesday in Mombasa when he opened the 16th East Africa Police Chiefs Co-operation Organization (EAPCCO) annual general meeting.
He encouraged the police chiefs to meet regularly and ensure resolutions passed are implemented.
He singled out the upsurge in illicit trade in wildlife products, especially ivory and rhino horns, as a crime that should be stopped immediately.
“Our region has been identified as a major and growing centre for this callous commerce. Between January and October 2013 alone, over ten tonnes of ivory were intercepted in Mombasa,” he observed.
He said the illicit trade in wildlife products hampered the region’s collective security as it fed into terrorism, adding that it also harmed the region’s reputation, standing and trade with the world.
The President said the threat of terrorism is not confined to any one country or region. He said the region has a common interest in working together to defeat terrorists.
“Our people demand nothing less than an end to this evil, and the less spectacular crimes that hinder our continent’s advance,” he said.
“That is why we have joined with friends and partners in Amisom (African Union Mission to Somalia) to bring peace to Somalia and to shut out those who would do all of us harm,” he said.