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Kenya’s Cabinet calls for joint efforts to tackle terrorism

Friday, November 23, 2012
by Chris Mgidu

NAIROBI, Nov. 22 — Kenya’s Cabinet on Thursday called for joint efforts among agencies to eradicate terrorism which is a big threat to the East African nation security and economy.

A statement issued after a Cabinet meeting which was chaired by President Mwai Kibaki discussed at length the security challenges that the country has faced in the last few weeks and outlined and adapted various steps to be taken to ensure the security of Kenyans and their properties.

“The Cabinet also appealed to all the branches of government to work together in the fight against forces that were out to create insecurity in the country,” said the statement which was issued in Nairobi after the meeting.

The statement comes amid a string of attacks by Al-Shabaab militants and their sympathizers since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October 2011 to subdue the insurgents who were blamed for a series of murders and kidnappings on the Kenya soil with northern region being one of the worst hit by the attacks.

The police officers have also stepped up security in all hotels, key buildings and restaurants, particularly along the border with neighboring Somalia where Al-Qaida-linked fighters are waging an insurgency to avert reprisals.

The police said they are concerned that most public facilities have lowered their security alertness unlike early this year when Kenya started pursuing the militants.

During the Thursday session, the Cabinet condemned the killings of security officers in northern Kenyan town of Garissa, in Baragoi in northwest region and attacks on civilians in Eastleigh neighborhood.

“The Cabinet sent their heartfelt condolences to the families, relatives and friends of those who died and wished quick recovery to those nursing wounds,” the statement said.

The Cabinet said all necessary steps should be taken so that the country is free from the forces of terrorists and other criminal elements that have been carrying out terror attacks on innocent civilians and security officers.

“The Cabinet said the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary must work together and send a clear signal that terrorists and other criminal elements will be dealt with firmly and decisively, and that there was no room for impunity on the part of any leader or citizen,” it said.

The cabinet move comes amid raising fears among communities living along the porous border with Somalia that the Islamist group fleeing after the capture of their last bastion town of Kismayo was likely to turn their frustration on the innocent civilians in a series of revenge attacks.

The Kenyan soldiers in the UN-backed AU force has intensified their offensive against the Al-Qaida allied group, pacifying some of the areas surrounding the capital including the strategic city of Kismayo amid reports the militants were now headed to Gedo region near the border with Kenya.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet also discussed and passed the Government Service Delivery Bill which proposes a coordination framework for the National Government functions and restructures and integrates the Provincial Administration systems into the framework.

The Bill provides for the establishment of an administrative and institutional framework at the national, county and lower levels to facilitate coordination and access to national government services in all parts of the country.

It provides for appointment, roles and responsibilities of administrative officers as coordinators of service delivery at the counties and districts.

“These administrative officers, who will be recruited by the Public Service Commission, include a county commissioner in respect of every county, a district commissioner in respect of every district, a district officer in respect of every division, a chief in respect of every location and an assistant chief in respect of every sub-location,” it said.

The Cabinet also considered and passed the Sessional Paper on Kenya Vision 2030 which will anchor Vision 2030 as the country’s guiding economic and national development policy framework and ensure it is sustained up to 2030.

The meeting approved the proposed borrowing of 93 million U.S. dollars from European Investment Bank by the Kenya Airport Authority for the expansion and upgrading of facilities at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to remain competitive and an international aviation hub.


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