- Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki today held discussions with a US congressional delegation at his house office, pledging to step up his country's effort to fight terrorism and piracy. Several new schemes were presented.
According to the Nairobi presidency, Mr Kibaki's talks with the US delegation, led by Adam Smith, "were centred on insecurity in the Indian Ocean posed by piracy, and how best it could be addressed."
President Kibaki expressed his government's commitment to collaborate with the international community to assist Somalia stabilise and contribute to security initiatives in the high seas.
The Kenyan leader also said the Nairobi authorities were "formulating the necessary legislation to effectively combat financing of terrorism activities and related illegal trade in the Country." President Kibaki said an anti-terrorism money laundering bill was ready for re-introduction in parliament when the house opens next week.
Other steps taken by the Kenyan government to combat terrorism, the President noted, included the establishment of an anti-terrorism police unit, the stationing of army battalions along the Kenya-Somalia border and legislation to detect and punish suspected terrorists.
The Head of State thanked the US government for what he called "the continued support to Kenya's efforts in the fight against terrorism and related threats." US representative Mr Smith said Washington would "continue collaborating" with Kenya and other countries to fight piracy and terrorism threats.
Kenya, which shares border with Somalia, has been strongly affected by the instability in its northern neighbour. The chaos in Somalia has led to large refugee streams into Kenya, but also a flow of arms and criminal individuals.
Kenya is also severely affected by the ever growing piracy problem along the Somali coast, with pirates sometimes entering Kenyan waters. Shipping to and from Kenya has become more complicated and expensive due to the insecurity and the long detour required to avoid pirates.
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