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U.S. pledges more counter-terrorism support for Kenya

22 June 2014, 09:54

Nairobi - The United States on Saturday pledged more support to Kenya's counter-terrorism efforts and urged the local political leaders to unite to help tackle security challenges in the country.

U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec said Kenya's future and the battle against extremism require strong efforts on security while holding firm to shared values of democracy, justice, human rights, rule of law, and economic progress.

A string of terror attacks in recent months has culminated with the mass evacuation of tourists in the coastal city of Mombasa following twin attacks in Mpeketoni which left at least 60 people dead and many others injured early this year.

These attacks threaten the tourism business which the country so readily relies on, so by extension the economy is threatened too.

The Al-Shabaab group was responsible for the attack, and has been a cell of the Al-Qaida terror network since 2012.

Godec said Washington has been working alongside Nairobi and other governments in the region, to assist Kenya and East Africa to counter the threat posed by terrorist organizations.

The American envoy also clarified that the embassy in Nairobi has not closed and is not closing due to increased terror threats in the country.

Godec said Washington has modified its travel warning for Kenya on June 19, as it does when necessary, due to the changing security environment.

The envoy said the U.S. has provided 127 million U.S. dollars in terms of security assistance since 2011 to support counter- terrorism and border security programmes and for the procurement of aircraft, patrol boats, and equipment upgrades.

"We have funded over 45 million dollars in civilian counterterrorism assistance to Kenya over the last four years, making Kenya the fourth largest recipient of such assistance worldwide," he said.

 - Xinhua

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