NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya should leverage on diplomatic and military
clout to stamp out terrorism and conflicts that have engulfed
the greater Horn of Africa region, an international relations
expert said on Sunday.
Peter Kagwanja, the CEO of
Nairobi based Pan African think-tank, Africa Policy Institute
said in a commentary published by a local daily that Kenya is
well placed to lead regional efforts to contain violent
extremism and civil strife.
"Kenya’s new counter violent extremism strategy has the
potential of enhancing its diplomatic capacity to stop the
threat of violent extremism within its borders and the region at
large," said Kagwanja.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sept. 7 launched a national
strategy to fight terrorism and radicalization of the country’s
Kagwanja said the strategy outlines a broad vision to defeat
terrorism through tactical application of military, economic and
"The blueprint signifies Nairobi’s efforts to balance between
the imperatives of security and those of democracy; to drain the
swamp of terrorism by eliminating soft support for terrorist
organizations and denying them room to radicalize," Kagwanja
His remarks came in the wake of an attempted raid in a police
station in the coastal city of Mombasa on Sunday by female
attackers linked to Somalia-based terrorist network Al-Shabaab.
The three female attackers were killed by police as they
attempted to storm a cell and release terror suspects.
Kenya has heightened vigilance in the wake of intelligence
reports indicating the country is still vulnerable to terror
A recent report from Intergovernmental Authority on
Development, disclosed that Al-Shabaab had intensified
recruitment of women, children and youth to replenish its
diminishing number of fighters.
The report urged countries in the greater Horn of Africa
region to retool their counter-terrorism strategies in the face
of a rapidly evolving threat.
Kagwanja stressed that regional counter-terrorism efforts
will only succeed if countries strengthen cooperation in
critical areas like intelligence sharing, border control and
"Regional states and organizations must craft comprehensive
strategies to prevent and counter youth radicalization that
bleeds terror and violence," said Kagwanja.
He added that Kenya would gain immensely from spearheading
regional initiatives to contain terrorism and recurrent civil