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Uhuru calls for joint regional efforts to combat terrorism

28 August 2014, 09:10

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday called on regional police chiefs to consolidate their efforts in combating terrorism and other organized crimes.

Speaking during the official opening of the 16th East Africa Police Chiefs Co-operation Organization (EAPCCO) annual general meeting in Mombasa, Kenyatta said war against crime will only be won if police forces in the East African region worked in solidarity and mustered self-belief.

"International terrorism threatens our societies: in choosing violence over dialogue, terrorists reject the basic premise of any democratic nation; in choosing spectacular, murderous violence, terrorists reject the respect for life shared by African societies across the continent," Kenyatta told regional police chiefs.

"The threat is not confined to any one country or region. Terrorists will certainly harm any of us who do not share their dark view of the world. We have a common interest, then, in working together to defeat them."

The police commanders and heads of criminal investigations from 17 countries are expected to share vital information on poachers that has been on the rise in the region.

They are also discussing strategies to enhance critical linkages and minimize intra and inter border crimes will be discussed.

Those attending the event include police chiefs from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Comoros, Eritrea, Seychelles, South Sudan and Tanzania.

Kenyatta pointed out the upsurge in illicit trade in wildlife products, especially ivory and rhino horns as a crime that should be stopped immediately.

He said the illicit trade in wildlife products hampered the region's collective security as it fed into terrorism, adding that it also harmed the region's reputation, standing and trade with the world.

"Our region has been identified as a major and growing center for this callous commerce between January and October 2013 alone, over 10 tons of ivory were intercepted in Mombasa. These developments directly threaten the livelihoods of communities that benefit directly and indirectly from wildlife," Kenyatta said.

He noted in the last five years the region has seen a rise in terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and crimes against the environment and called for increased efforts to defeat the vices.

"It is also in our best interest to tighten our collaboration in intelligence gathering, and in the execution of the programs that we agree together," the president said.

He encouraged the police chiefs to meet regularly and ensure resolutions passed are implemented.

The Kenyan leader, whose country has been subjected to increased terror attacks in the recent past, said the threat is not confined to any one country or region but harms all those who do not share their dark view of the world.

He said the region has a common interest in working together to defeat terrorists., Kenya has long been aware of the need to work together with its neighbors.

"That is why we have joined with friends and partners in AMISOM to bring peace to Somalia and to shut out those who would do all of us harm," he said.

He called for harmonization of laws and regulations in the region, adding that the region's unity and solidarity are its sharpest weapons in the fight against terrorism.

The president said the region should also learn from the experience of other nations that have face and defeated terrorism.

- Xinhua

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