COUNTER-TERRORISM IN AFRICA – INNOVATION, LESSONS LEARNED AND STAYING AHEAD OF THE THREAT

10 July 2019, Nairobi – Kenya Jointly with the United Nations Office of Counter- Terrorism organized the African Regional High-Level Conference on Counter-Terrorism and the Prevention of Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism, held at the United Nations offices in Nairobi on 10-11 July 2019.

The meeting brought together more than 1200 participants from over 100 countries to share experiences, challenges and good practices in countering terrorism and Violent Extremism, all geared towards a world free from threats of terrorism.

The conference  under the theme ‘Enhance our understanding of the terrorism threats faced by African countries, to share good practices and lessons learned, and to identify how cooperation among Member States and with the United Nations can be made more effective,’  was officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and attended by H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations and H.E. Moussa Faki, Chairperson, African Union Commission.

While speaking during a panel discussion on Counter-Terrorism in Africa –Innovation, lessons learned and staying ahead of the threat, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador. Monica Juma noted the vulnerability of all nations and the need for countries to work together to stay ahead of the threats presented by terror groups. “no nation can consider itself immune from the threat of terrorism and no society can remain disengaged making a shared responsibility for peaceful equitable and sustainable society necessary.”

The Cabinet Secretary reiterated that there is dire need for a regional strategy that will address the drivers of violent extremism in Africa and provide the requisite framework for coordinating responses to this challenge.

“Africa is increasingly becoming the focus and new frontline in the global struggle against terrorism. Terrorist groups and their violent extremist supporters continue to evolve, spread into new regions, exploit new technologies and tactics, and promote their insidious narratives offline and online.” The CS noted.

On technology aiding terrorist activities, she noted that the internet has made it easier for the terrorist to diffuse radical ideologies especially to the youth, recruit and build online terrorist networks of illegal activities and other transnational crimes.

Like other countries, the CS said, Kenya remains concerned over the global problem and has put in place strategies to confront, prevent and eradicate this major threat to international peace and security. Kenya is also committed to all regional and international instruments established to combat terrorism and counter violent extremism.

 In an effort to build partnerships and enhance relations, CS Juma, on the sidelines of the Counter Terrorism Conference held bilateral meeting with Amb. Nathan Sales, Coordinator for Counter Terrorism, US Department of State where they reaffirmed the value of deepening Kenya-US cooperation in counter terrorism and preventing violent extremism.