Kenya, SA sign deals to counter terror and deepen police and defence ties

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Kenya and South Africa have made a commitment to deepen their cooperation by signing two critical memoranda of understanding on security.

The two documents, signed during the ongoing visit by South African President Jacob Zuma, involve police and defence cooperation.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the MoUs cover intelligence sharing, identifying terrorists’ sources of funding and stabilising terrorism-prone countries.

“These agreements are aimed at enhancing regional and continental security, a prerequisite for our development,” Uhuru said at a joint press conference at State House yesterday.

“President Zuma and I agreed to broaden our counter-terrorism partnership and focus on new areas such as cyber security, financing of terrorism and stemming radicalisation.”

He said they signed an agreement for South Africa’s investment in the Lapsset project. Uhuru said the project is pivotal for Kenya, the region and the continent. He said investment in Africa by Africans is critical for growth of inter-Africa trade and investment.

Uhuru said Kenya and South Africa will learn from each other’s financial services and technical and vocational training. “We have instructed our Foreign Affairs ministries to commence discussions to develop a special framework,” he said.

Zuma condemned the rise of terrorism. He reiterated the need for joint regional and continental effort towards countering violent extremism. Zuma said they have agreed with Kenya to create an environment conducive to business.

Yesterday evening, hundreds of businessmen from both countries were to meet. Kenya is pushing for the removal of barriers to movement of people and goods. Uhuru said South Africa has agreed to consider a request that Kenyans be granted visas on arrival.

A similar privilege is already extended to South Africans visiting Kenya.

© Alleastafrica and THE STAR

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