EU to build security, health center in Nairobi
20 September 2014, 10:45
Nairobi - The EU said Friday it will provide 65 million U.S. dollars to build a new regional security and health center in Kenya.
EU Ambassador to Kenya, Lodewijk Briet said the center, to be located
in Nairobi, will be used in preventing and managing a chemical,
biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attack.
"A year after the Westgate tragedy and with current threats like
Ebola, and in partnership with Kenya, I am pleased to confirm the
go-ahead for this important facility, which will improve security and
disaster response across the region," Briet said in a statement issued
"This demonstrates our support to our close ally, Kenya, on critical
security issues that matter to a rapidly developing and globalising
country and region," Briet said.
He said the new facility is part of a broader strategy of security
cooperation that the EU provides to Kenya and the region, which includes
countering violent extremism and reduction of small arms, and an EU
naval force that tackles piracy in the Indian Ocean and developing
stability in Somalia.
The establishment of the new center comes amid increased terror
attacks in Kenya. Briet said the east African nation has proven its role
as a regional leader in many areas, adding that security cooperation
from Europe remains steadfast.
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"A program of training will be provided by experts from the EU in
disaster management over the coming two years, and is likely to include
live exercises in responding to terrorist attacks," Briet said, adding
that EU will contribute advisory and training staff, while the Kenyan
government will provide staffing and office space for the center.
Briet also said a review of all Kenyan legislation concerning the
storage, transport and security of hazardous CBRN materials is expected
to be undertaken by the center. He said EU will shortly be conducting a
needs assessment for procurement of specialist equipment for detecting
"Working in coordination with a number of ministries and agencies,
the center will train officials across nine African countries in
critical security and safety issues, including legislating on dual-use
chemicals, tackling pandemics such as Ebola, and handling terrorist
attacks," Briet said.
Countries that will be involved in the center include Burundi, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania,
Uganda and Zambia.
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