General News

The UK can do more to enhance Security relations with Kenya – KBC | Kenya’s Watching


Download Video

Kenya and the United Kingdom continue to partner in key security cooperation programs demonstrating the two countries’ commitment to strengthen long-term diplomatic ties.

For the past three years, Kenya has attracted renewed interest from Britain that led to an official visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta to London in January 2020 where he met Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The visit was preceded by one in the opposite direction by the former Prime Minister, Theresa May, who landed in Nairobi in August 2019. This was the first time in close to three decades a British PM had made an official visit to the country.

As part of the pillars of the Strategic Partnership agreed upon during the visits, the Kenya–UK Security Compact was established and has since seen security dialogues become a consistent feature in the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

Three high-level meetings have been held so far between delegations co-chaired by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, and the UK Secretary of Defense, Hon. Ben Wallace, with a view to exploring more areas of collaboration in addressing shared security threats, including serious organized crime, human trafficking, cybersecurity, corruption, and terrorism.

In the most recent security meeting held in Nairobi, Dr. Matiang’i highlighted the extent to which illegal firearms have emboldened criminal groups engaging in cattle-rustling, banditry, and farm invasions in the Northern part of the country.

Scores of lives, including those of security officers, have been lost to these violent crimes.

Interestingly, there exists a British Army Training Unit (BATUK) stretching from Laikipia County to Isiolo through Samburu. The facility has been operational since 1964 following a memorandum of understanding signed between Nairobi and London.

Owing to the varied forms of BATUK’s training adapted for the hilly terrain and harsh climatic conditions of Northern Kenya, the UK has the capacity to offer more support programmes to Kenya’s Anti Stock Theft Unit, including ground and aerial surveillance.

Drills in techniques such as transit flying along valleys as well as landing on remote sites and ridges can go a long way in securing the Kerio and Suguta valleys.

Similarly, non-proliferation of illegal firearms strategies as well as anti-gun trafficking tactics would be welcome to complement Kenya’s ongoing disarmament efforts.

On preventing terrorism and countering violent extremism, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Amb. Martin Kimani, earlier this year made a public policy-provoking case urging countries to develop approaches that protect religious and cultural sites against terrorist attacks.

In his statement, he delved into the significance of such sites and monuments on the local communities’ identities.

With this in mind, the war against terrorism in areas considered recruitment hotspots, with a focus on the Al-Shabaab, is much in the ideological sphere of identity as it is in the combative.

Youth are indoctrinated to believe in distorted histories and false religious narratives that are a far cry from the indigenous Kenyan cultures as well as religious identities unique to local communities.

With the UK already being one of the greatest partners in the documentation and archiving of Kenya’s natural and cultural heritage, there’s a need to intensify efforts to restore the collective history of indigenous communities in collaboration with the Museums of Kenya and other relevant stakeholders.

Cultural sites, traditions, and monuments must regain their place and dignity in cultivating a sense of belonging among Kenya’s youth and future generations.

Eshuchi Richard is a Postgraduate Student, Master of Research and Public Policy (University of Nairobi)

(function(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Source by [author_name]

About nairohost

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *