President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) has spelt out stringent measures to combat terrorism.
He said the government will pursue financiers of terror, propagandists and eradicate trade in contraband goods in war against terror cells.
Speaking when he met security chiefs at State House Mombasa yesterday, the President said businesses of terror financiers and masterminds will also be listed so that measures can be taken against them worldwide.
In recent past, Kenya has witnessed a series of terror attacks perpetrated by Al Shabaab militants in Lamu, Garissa and Mandera counties.
“I also want all the security formations represented here to undertake the strongest possible measures against actors and dynamics that enable terrorists to operate in or against our country. Foremost of these must be ensuring that all economic linkages with terrorists are cut,” said the President.
He said any means by which the enemy is able to generate income from Kenya or to receive funds through the country, including contraband and illicit trade must be halted.
“Smuggling and contraband from neighbouring countries directly funds Al Shabaab, which on the other side of the border illegally levies taxes that they then use to sustain their operations. This must stop,” he warned.
“I also expect more of the major sponsors of terrorism to be dealt with, not least by ensuring they are listed nationally and internationally, so that there is a tangible impact on their businesses, organisations and ability to operate,” he added.
He directed the security agencies to mount a major operation to flush out terrorist elements who pose a threat particularly in North Eastern and Coast regions.
He asked county commissioners and police commanders to roll out the county counter violent extremism action plans and disseminate information to the public so as to support the war against terror.
The president disclosed that last year he directed county commissioners and police commanders to upscale the efficacy of security work and coordination and to hold more barazas to increase information flow from the public on terrorist operatives, recruiters and propagandists.
People to speak up
“This needs to be sustained this year, in addition to you doing more to make communities feel safe from terrorist intimidation. This sense of safety and freedom from intimidation or retaliation from the terrorist elements, will encourage even more people to speak up and resist the tactics of terrorists,” he added.
He directed that police chiefs be paid field allowances from next month and those who do not deliver be sacked. At the same time, he told all relevant officers, agencies and personnel to drive the implementation of the county action plans to prevent violent extremism.
“Doing this will allow citizens to be more resilient against radicalisation and terrorist propaganda. The implementation of these measures must be undertaken in a systematic and measurable way,” he added. He called for a report on the practical efforts undertaken on the war on terror in August.
Kenyatta also asked the national government administrative officers and the police to engage politicians, religious and opinion leaders within vulnerable communities to avert radicalisation of youth. He introduced newly appointed Chief Administrative Secretaries after they were sworn in.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the security chiefs met to review last year’s performance and prepare a strategy for this year. “We are present, prepared and ready and going forward to deliver,” he said.
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