KENYA: US Government Partner With Kenya On Security Matters

Kenya is among six countries the US government intends to partner with on security, President Barack Obama has said.

The partnership offers a "comprehensive approach to improving security sector governance and capacity to address threats," Obama said.

In a statement published on the White House website, he announced the Security Governance Initiative last Saturday.

Obama said Kenya, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Tunisia expressed a desire to strengthen their security sectors and committed to core elements of the initiative.

"Together, the United States and participating African countries will work to improve security sector institutions' capacity to protect civilians and confront challenges and threats, with integrity and accountability," he said.

He said $65 million (Sh6.32 billion) has been allocated to the the initial year of the programme, adding that the amount will increase as the program matures.

"To support a longer term focus, SGI will involve multi-year funding commitments of increased US support and will require sustained, high-level leadership and commitment to pursue policies in support of the agreed upon goals," he said.

He said the programmes will differ in each country, reflecting specific partner challenges, goals and objectives.

Obama said Africa is a dynamic and diverse region experiencing significant gains in economic growth and development, but faces transnational and domestic insecurity threats.

"These threats include terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, al Shabaab, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and others, which remain active on the continent," he said.

He cited other threats as trafficking (drugs, humans, weapons, and wildlife), piracy which helps fund crime, extremist activities and domestic and regional conflict.

"Against this backdrop, the United States remains committed to working with our African partners and providing assistance to strengthen their security sectors," he said.

The SGI team will be housed at the US State Department with support from the Department of Defence, the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.

SGI will focus on civilian and military security institutions and the ministerial functions that provide state oversight of the security sector.
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