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Sweden, UN ink deal to support police reform in Kenya

01 October 2013, 13:18

Nairobi - Sweden said on Monday it has signed an agreement with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to support police reform in Kenya through a basket fund.

A statement from the Swedish embassy in Nairobi said Stockholm will contribute a total of 2.2 million U.S. dollars to the fund during the first year, equivalent of 70 percent of the total for this period.

"Sweden stands by Kenya and the Kenyan people in promoting security and equal rule of law for all citizens. The recent tragic Westgate terror attack also accentuates the immediate need of strengthening the capacity of key institutions within the security sector," said Sweden's Ambassador to Kenya Johan Borgstam.

He said through the UNODC police reform program, Sweden hopes the funds will support capacity building, establishment of ethics and accountability mechanisms as well as mainstreaming of gender and human rights into all areas of policing.

Police reform has since long been identified as an urgent area of reform for democratic development in Kenya.

The representative for UNODC regional office for Eastern Africa, Loide Lungameni acknowledged UNODC's good long-standing collaboration with Kenya and the financial support from Sweden.

She however also raised a point of concern regarding the increasing numbers of extrajudicial killings.

"UNODC stands ready to continue to support the Kenyan police to comply with international human rights standards and implement the rule of law," Lungameni reinstated.

The UNODC Joint Donor Basket Fund for Police Reforms complements other Swedish-funded interventions supporting community policing, transformation of the judiciary, integration of a human-rights-based approach in the prisons service, as well as civic education of citizen rights under the new constitution.

Deputy inspector general of police Jonathan Kosgei said the recent incident of terror attach in Westgate mall was a clear demonstration of the need to expand implementation of community policing alongside increasing capacity for police operational preparedness and logistical capacities to respond to security needs.

"We continue to appeal to our international friends to continue to partner with us as we address the challenge of terrorism which is a global crime," Kosgei.

The funding comes after attack by suspected members of the Al- Shabaab terrorist network, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, who stormed Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, killing scores of innocent people, both Kenyan and foreign, and wounding many others.

The siege at the mall continuing for four days ended last Tuesday and U.S. citizens including those from Britain, Australia, and China among others were confirmed dead or injured in the attack.

The Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in the media, and said that it was in response to Nairobi's October 2011 military intervention against Al-Shabaab in Somalia. 



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