NAIROBI: Kenya has vowed to firmly deal with extremist groups, even as regional states were called upon to join the fight against terrorism.
A meeting of parliamentary Speakers from the East Africa Community (EAC) held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, implored partner states to jointly devise measures and mechanisms to address security challenges.
During the 10th Bureau of Speakers' conference, EAC states were advised to share knowledge and information on mobilisation, recruitment and operationalisation of the terror networks in the region, while working closely with other global partners.
"The Bureau appeals to the EAC council of ministers and their respective governments to put more emphasis on addressing the threats posed by terrorism," the meeting's communique partly reads.
The delegates expressed concern over increased security threats in the region, particularly the threats posed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group Al-Shabaab, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
Kenya National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi underscored the need for a stable, secure and peaceful region to foster development and urged parliaments to legislate on laws that will guard against extremist activities.
He said at last year's 9th Bureau in Nairobi, the East African Legislative Assembly passed a bill to establish the East African Parliamentary Institute. The bill has since been assented to by all the member States.
Speakers were encouraged to follow up with their respective ministers to ensure the EAC Council of ministers establishes a commencement date for this Act. The council is scheduled to meet in Arusha, Tanzania, next week.