A U.S. assessment report meant to gauge the government’s performance in 2011 has revealed that Kenyan Government has “demonstrated increased political will” in its fight against terrorism but a lack of fundamental laws makes it very difficult to prosecute terror suspects and to choke off financing for Al-Shabaab. Though Kenyan military has managed to quell the Al-Shabaab in Somalia since last year, it has been warned that the group still persisted to kill over 1,000 people last year alone hence exercising continued dominance on most of the southern Somalia border.
The U.S State department said, “The situation resulted to a permissive environment for a small number of Al-Qaeda operatives to carry out its training and terrorist planning among other violent extremists.” The report further analyses several attacks that rocked Kenyan interior cities last year.
The report further adds that, “Kenya’s lack of counterterrorism legislation has consequently hindered its ability to detain terrorist suspects and prosecute them effectively.”
According to the State Department findings, mostly lacking in Kenya is sufficient laws and regulatory structures or any relevant institutional structures that could be enacted to enable track, seize and confiscate the assets of Al-Shabaab members among other terrorists said to haunt the national security.
However, the report recognized the efforts that Kenya has also made one among them being the adoption of the Anti-Money Laundering Advisory Board which took effect from last year. In terms of securing its borders, Kenya is also said to have greatly improved the status as opposed to its previous state.
In reference to the report, Kenya also accepted an offer from the United States to facilitate and upgrade personal Identification Systems that are now in place at additional ports of entry and can now capture biometric information.
U.S considers Kenya as a “critical partner” in its developments of State Department anti-terrorism programme which has always focused on strengthening the border controls. The measures highlighted in the reported are basically aimed at enhancing the capability of the state to carry out investigations and consequently respond to terrorism incidents.
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