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U.S. provides anti-terror equipment for Kenyan airports

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government on Tuesday donated security equipment to be used by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) as it steps up the war against terror and other emerging security threats in airports across the country.

The donated equipment worth 700,000 U.S. dollars includes Desktop Explosive Trace Detector (ETD) machines and one year’s supply of consumables.

Speaking during the handover ceremony in Nairobi, Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure Michael Kamau said that the donation included a training package on operation, testing and routine servicing of the equipment and so far, enough staff from all airports where the equipment will be deployed have been trained.

“This support from the U.S. government enables Kenya to upgrade its security in line with global trends against emerging threats,” Kamau told journalists in Nairobi.

The units can test for traces of common conventional explosives that may be hidden on people and in luggage and carry-on bags.

The consumables consist of disposable pads that are swabbed over items to collect samples from passengers and their luggage. These pads are then inserted into the ETD units to test for explosive residue.

KAA MD Lucy Mbugua said the security equipment works on advanced technology that would help detect and deter explosives.

“This equipment  is capable of detecting any molecules found in all conventional explosives including liquid explosives and compounds used to manufacture explosives,” Mbugua said.

The donation of the security equipment comes in the wake of ongoing audits by the U.S. Transport Security Administration to assess the security of flight paths at JKIA.

Kamau said the audit is a key step towards the commencement of direct flights between JKIA and airports in the U.S.

He said the Kenyan government will continue to welcome any technical assistance, training and audit and shall continue to implement the finding of this audit.

Isiah Parnell, the U.S. chargé d’affaires of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi said the 20 Desktop Explosive Trace Detection units were donated by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

TSA is charged with providing security for passenger and freight transportation. It has trained 57 KAA employees from seven airports across Kenya on how to use the explosive-detection equipment.


Kenya and France to cooperate to fight terror

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya and France will cooperate in the fight against terrorism, French envoy to Kenya said in Nairobi on Tuesday.

French Ambassador to Kenya Remi Marechaux said that both nations have a common enemy and are determined to get rid of the common threat.

“We have incorporated other allies to strengthen our cooperation to fight terrorism not only in Somalia but also on Kenyan soil,” Marechaux said during celebrations to mark the French National Day.

Kenyan and French presidents met three months ago on the sidelines of the European Union-Africa Summit to discuss bilateral relations.

The envoy noted that the bilateral relationship is hinged more on partnerships than on donor-recipient relations.


President Kenyatta vows to defeat extremism for stability

NAROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday the government will work closely with friendly nations to defeat extremism and other evils that threaten cohesion and harmonious co-existence in society.

He said the government will not allow criminals which have been carrying out several grenade and bomb attacks in the country, to hide behind the freedom of worship enshrined in the Constitution to break the law.

“We are ready and committed to partner with our friends to ensure harmony and cohesion among Kenyans. On behalf of the people of Kenya, I thank all the Iftar food donors,” he said in Nairobi when he flagged-off a truck carrying foodstuffs donated by Muslim Ambassadors in Kenya to be distributed to the needy in the country.

Kenyatta said the fundamental freedoms in the Constitution should be enjoyed responsibly.

President Kenyatta assured the donors that the food will go directly to the beneficiaries in Lamu, Mandera, Wajir and Moyale, among other needy counties.

The East African nation continues to suffer several attacks as terrorists change tuck to beat heightened security and carry on with their heinous acts undetected.

The latest incidents have happened in the coastal region, Nairobi, and some cities including towns in northern Kenya that have bore the brunt of terror attacks.



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