President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday launched the National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism, which articulates Kenya’s efforts to prevent terrorism and violent extremism.
The strategy will be implemented by the Interior ministry. It will rally all sections of government, communities, civil society, the private sector and international partners in the war on terror.
Launching the strategy at State House, Uhuru also appointed Ambassador Martin Kimani, who heads the national counterterrorism centre, as special envoy for countering violent extremism.
“This has increased operational tempo, coordination and equipment aimed at detecting, deterring and disrupting terrorits’ activities,” Uhuru said.
The new strategy will improve prevention and counter radicalisation compared to the traditional security approaches. It puts in place systems to rehabilitate foreign terrorist fighters.
“I wish here to commend Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaiserry for his pioneering role in prevention and returnee reintegration efforts. The Interior ministry will be a primary implementation vehicle for this strategy,” the President said.
He urged all Kenyans to work together to deny violent extremists room to radicalise their compatriots. “Together, in coordinated fashion, we must drain the swamp of violent extremism,” Uhuru said. The President said he is confident the new strategy is a critical step in protecting the liberty and prosperity of Kenyans.
“Its lessons will be visible to all and I look forward to their being shared with the region and the world,” the President said.
At the national level, the NCTC will be significant in managing radicalised returnees, the strategy states.
It adds that the results of its coordinating efforts shall be reported to the National Security Advisory Committee.
“At the local level, County Security and Intelligence Committees will consult with the NCTC and coordinate action with local and religious leaders, NGOs, economic development organisations, the private sector, researchers and engaged citizens to launch de-radicalisation,” the document states.
The strategy was developed through an extensive consultative process involving natioal government agencies and the county governments, religious leaders, civil society, the private sector, research community and regional and international partners.