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Report wary of devolution worsening local terror

14 August 2014, 22:29

Nairobi - A new report raises concern about the pace of reform and possible implications for security in the country.

National Security Profile on the Republic of Kenya, prepared by Think Security Africa (TSA), expresses worry about the sloth of reforms and the need to ensure that existing security challenges do not negatively interact with changes in Kenya's new political and budgetary arrangements, which are intended to improve long-term security.

Among key findings of the report are that while devolution from eight provinces to 47 counties is intended to bring governance closer to the people, it also made it more feasible for the current spate of terrorist attacks to evolve into an insurgency as there would now be almost eight times as many governmental targets to attack.

"There is a need to take pre-emptive counter-insurgency actions in the eight counties currently impacted by terrorist-related violence, and potentially others such as Kitui," TSA stated.

The think-tank sated that enclaves of relative affluence within otherwise impoverished communities such as such as Dadaab have enabled the spread of "harmful ideas" and "actors" into Kenya from neighbouring countries.

"It is important to learn the lessons from this in plans to devolve a significant portion of the national budget or make large investments in counties, which have been historically marginalized and conflict prone. Strong national oversight is required to prevent these investments and budgetary allocations from fuelling conflict and other forms of insecurity."

According to the report, the importance of security in Kenya for regional development makes security in the country a regional concern considering Kenya plays a key role for sub-regional trade and logistics, and this role is set to expand with the inception of Lamu Port and Southern Sudan - Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET).

TSA is an independent policy-oriented think-tank driving innovative thought and practice on emerging and established security issues across Africa.

  - CAJ


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