Kenya joins global anti-terror coalition


Kenya was Wednesday officially welcomed into the 79-member Global Coalition Against ISIS at a conference of Foreign Ministers in Washington, DC hosted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and attended by President Donald Trump.

 “I  welcome our newest members, Kenya and Fiji to this family of nations  committed to defeating ISIS and it’s affiliates. Let us do this  together”, said Mr. Pompeo in his opening remarks at the conference he  hosted at the US Department of State in the US capital. 

The Kenyan delegation is led by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Assistant Secretary, Ababu Namwamba.

The  meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Coalition reviewed progress of the  past year and discussed the next stage in the campaign to ensure the  enduring defeat of ISIS. 

The  Global Coalition is committed to tackling ISIS on all fronts, to  dismantle its networks, counter its global ambitions, degrade and  ultimately defeat ISIS and its affiliates.

In  his address to the high level conference, CAS Ababu used the  opportunity to strongly discourage what he termed “the predictable  pattern of travel advisories” in the aftermath of terror attacks. 

“Travel  advisories only serve to play into the hands of these vile merchants of  death to who fear and despondence are essential tools of trade. The  advisories also compromise the standing of countries already reeling  under effects of terror attacks. They are knee jerk, reactionary  and  counterproductive. Let us commit to review this policy,” Ababu urged.

According   to a statement issued in Nairobi  on Thursday, Ababu also pitched  strongly for the Al Shabaab terror group to be officially classified as a  terrorist group by the UN Security Council and the US, who currently  categorise the group only as a militia. 

“Inconsistent  with the current classification by the United Nations Security Council,  Al Shabaab is no longer a militia but an organization that has  metamorphosed into a hydra-headed monster. Its reach through Africa, in  Somalia, eastern Congo, and northern Mozambique demonstrates the  catastrophic dimension of its ambition and speaks to its potency as a  raging terrorist group and makes it absolutely urgent that it be listed  as such by the UNSC to halt its subtly distressing rise”, Ababu told the  Washington conference.

He assured the global audience of Kenya's commitment to the global  war on terror. 

“Kenya  stands ready to continue cooperating with the USA and other countries  of similar mind, especially those in this coalition. Because the  terrorist networks in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe or elsewhere  are connected and draw from a borderless theatre, it is critical that we  evolve a holistic approach dealing with all terrorist theatre -  otherwise we run the risk of displacing terrorists from one theatre to  another”, Ababu said.

Kenya  joined the 79 member coalition last year and hopes to rally global  support against the threat of Al-Shabaab and mutants of other terror  groups in the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region which are linked to  the global jihadist movement. 

The  meeting comes against the backdrop of the January 15 Riverside  terrorist attack in Nairobi by the Al Shabaab, which Ababu discussed in  his address. 

“Kenya has  been in the eye of the storm of the global jihad...We do appreciate the  international cooperation and support in our fight against terror. But  it must be noted that while the Riverside attack was done on Kenyan  territory, it was nonetheless targeted at the world," he added.


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