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CJ calls on Eastern Africa to develop a counter-terrorism system

09 July 2014, 15:46 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has urged Eastern Africa nations to develop appropriate counter-terrorism strategies for the attainment of sustainable development, peace, non-violence and prosperity in the region.

Mutunga said terror attacks pose a serious threat to regional and international peace and security hence the need for collaboration to eliminate the complex network of both Al Shabaab and Al-Qaeda.

“Recent terror attacks, especially in Kenya and Somalia, have shown that the Horn of Africa region continues to face significant terrorism threats from the Al Shaabab and other terrorist groups,” said Mutunga.

“The global and regional networks of terrorists such as Al-Qaeda, and Al Shabaab are wide and complex and continue to execute various forms of terrorism in our region. Terrorism is not about to disappear in thin air. It must be combated in a consistent and continuous manner,” he added.

He asserted that the region has requisite knowledge and expertise to develop appropriate mechanisms relevant to regional conditions to assist in the effective implementation of counter terrorism strategies.

The CJ, however, reiterated that the counter-terrorism strategies to be adopted must conform to the principles of rule of law and respect for human rights.

Mutunga added that citizens’ support is needed in the fight against terrorism especially by educating them to differentiate between the state actions and those of the terrorists.

“Our 2010 Constitution decrees dialogue, conversation, and consultations on matters of national interest. The three arms of government, though robustly independent, realise their interdependence in combating terrorism,” said the CJ.

“I wish to reiterate my own commitment and that of the Kenya’s judicial system in fight against terrorism. However, my position is clear that this must be within the confines of the rule of law and respect for human rights,” he stated.

The CJ also said it is critical to continue building and enhancing the capacity of our security and criminal justice systems in strengthening counter-terrorism strategies to effectively respond to terror threats.

“The collaboration with other global and regional organisations undertaking the same tasks is of critical importance. Such networks must be built and made irrevocable, irreversible, permanent and indestructible,” said Mutunga.

The CJ was speaking during the IGAD Security Sector Program (ISSP) and Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) workshop that brought together participants from diverse background and sectors in security and judicial systems.

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