The Kenyan leader said multi-national military missions that
deny terrorists territory need to have strong mandates,
appropriate force enablers and multipliers.
He said African countries need to have strong strategies to
deal with violent extremism but must also engage capabilities to
disengage, rehabilitate and reintegrate those who reject
According to Kenyatta, terrorism is a Pan-African challenge
and as such, governments must come up with joint responses and
"I call on the African Union to generate a powerful political
consensus for confronting and defeating terrorism and all other
forms of violent extremism conducive to terrorism," he said.
He said Africa must speak boldly and with one voice,
"declaring to the enemies of freedom that we shall not relent
and we shall prevail."
Kenyatta, whose country has suffered from terrorism, said the
African Union, the UN and other conference participants should
come up with strategies that deny terror groups the space to
grow in Africa.
"Discussions and solutions should propose multi-faceted
approaches to combating terrorism, extremism and radicalization
that confront the vice on the battlefield, in places of worship,
in market squares, in our schools and in our homes," he said.
He said such forces should be deployed alongside a
comprehensive terrorism sanctions regime, and implemented
together with a political strategy for stabilization and the
delivery of services to the population if they are to be
The president said Kenya has established anti-terrorism
county action plans to reduce threats to the country.
The county action plans, tailored to the security needs of
each of the 47 counties, are meant to bring together security
sector actors covering enforcement agencies, administrators,
civil society and citizens to prioritize collective counter
terrorism actions that are measurable and time-bound.
He said the measures to combat violent extremism will be
complemented by a student safety and security mechanism
developed by the ministry of education.
Pan-African summit adopts
resolutions aimed at eradicating terrorism
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The inaugural African regional high-level
conference on countering terrorism ended on Thursday with the
adoption of resolutions to revitalize the war against a vice
that threatens the continent’s economic progress and stability.
Some 1,500 delegates from African Union members, multilateral
organizations, civil society and academia attended the July
10-11 forum, discussing new strategies against terrorism and
violent extremism in the world’s second largest continent.
Fred Matiang’i, cabinet secretary for Kenya’s Ministry of
Interior and Coordination of National Government, in his closing
remarks, urged African countries to unite and root out terrorist
networks, their sympathizers and financiers.
"Africa has been a victim of terrorism that is opposed to our
democracy, development and stability," said Matiang’i.
"We must increase our commitment to combat ideologies that
support or justify terrorism and rally behind alternative
narratives that stand in opposition to hateful and divisive
ideas," he said.
The meeting brought together heads of government and
ministers of interior, security and foreign affairs, including
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and
representatives of other international organizations and leading
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and the chairperson of the
African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, attended the
opening ceremony of the conference, where they renewed the call
for solidarity against terrorism.
The gathering, organized by the UN and the Kenyan government,
proposed the establishment of well-funded and homegrown programs
to boost the war against militancy and radicalization in Africa.
Vladimir Voronkov, under-secretary-general of the UN
Counter-Terrorism Office, said the international community will
rally behind African-led and owned initiatives to eradicate a
menace that has gained ground against a backdrop of poverty,
conflicts and high youth unemployment.
"The regional conference will be a key part of a broader
initiative to give new momentum to multilateral cooperation to
address the evolving threat of terrorism and violent extremism,"
He said the outcome of the Nairobi forum will be shared at
the high-level conference on counter-terrorism to be held in New
York in June 2020.
Kenyan forum sets stage
for renewed African counter-terrorism strategy
by Naftali Mwaura NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- The Pan African counter-terrorism
summit in the Kenyan capital here set the stage for
reorganization of initiatives aimed at containing a security
threat that is rapidly evolving on the continent.
High-profile delegates who attended the forum from July 10 to
11, including United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, agreed that
African countries must devise new strategies to revitalize the
war against terrorism.
The UN chief said in his opening remarks that international
terrorist networks continue to gain foothold in Africa, hence
the need for concerted efforts to degrade them through adequate
funding, political stability, rule of law and engagement of
women and youth.
"For terrorism to be defeated, it is essential that African
counter-terrorism is holistic, well-funded, underpinned by
respect for human rights and most importantly backed by strong
political will," said Guterres.
He hailed innovative counter-terrorism initiatives that focus
on enhanced cross-border intelligence sharing and involvement of
youth and women to educate communities on the dangers of violent
More than 1,497 delegates, including political leaders,
policymakers, security experts and peace advocates, attended the
Nairobi forum to discuss best practices that should be adopted
to re-energize the fight against terrorism in Africa.
Kenyatta said Africa must speak boldly and with one voice,
adding that African countries should leverage robust military
campaigns, good governance, inclusive development and
empowerment programs tailor made for vulnerable demographics in
order to win the fight against terrorism.
"These measures require extensive support in terms of
funding, logistics, legal frameworks and multilateral
cooperation," said Kenyatta, adding that African countries
should deploy more resources to counter recruitment of youth by
He said that grassroots-based campaigns against violent
extremism as well as empowerment of vulnerable youth through
education, skill development and employment, are key to
containing the spread of violent ideologies in Africa.
Kenya partnered with the UN to convene the Pan African forum,
in a bid to chart a new beginning in the war against terrorism
and violent extremism that have wreaked havoc on a continent
hailed as the next frontier for growth and transformation.
Vladimir Voronkov, under-secretary-general of the UN
Counter-Terrorism Office, said the forum injected fresh momentum
to promote an African-led solution to a security challenge that
"The conference demonstrated the importance of African-led
and African-owned counter-terrorism efforts that are
strengthened by the solidarity and collective responsibility of
the international community," said Voronkov.
He said the UN will help African countries strengthen their
capacity to disrupt terrorism financing and recruitment of
fighters through early detection.
Voronkov said the UN is mulling the establishment of an
inter-agency platform in Kenya and other African countries to
facilitate the exchange of biometric data on foreign fighters.
"We intend to establish an annual counter-terrorism dialogue
between the UN and African regional bodies to help initiate
practical steps to address the scourge of terrorism," said
African states should enhance sharing of best practices that
are required to rejuvenate anti-terrorism fight against a
backdrop of shrinking external support.
Policymakers and experts who attended the Nairobi summit said
that successful and home-grown counter-terrorism strategies like
community policing, cross-border intelligence sharing and robust
action on illicit financial flows should be scaled up.
Martin Kimani, director of Kenya’s National Counter-Terrorism
Centre, said enhanced vigilance combined with punitive
legislation and empowerment of disadvantaged youth should inform
the next phase of the war against violent extremism in Africa.
"We should exhaust the legal, diplomatic and financial tools
at our disposal to achieve the goal of an African continent that
is resilient to the threat of terrorism and radicalization of
its youth," said Kimani.
Unlike brute force, inclusivity, fidelity to the rule of law
and access to equal opportunities could prove more effective in
defeating terrorism in Africa, said Khanneje Hassan, director of
the Horn International Institute for Strategic Studies.