Contraband trade funding terrorists, reveals Matiang’i

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 00:00 |
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i (right) with Mandera Governor Ali Roba in Garissa. Photo/COURTESY

The government has adopted a multi-pronged approach in fighting terror by engaging local leaders and intensifying the war against contraband and smuggling as part of the comprehensive strategy to counter terrorism financing.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i yesterday contraband trade was hurting the economy, and revealed that it was also a source of revenue for terrorists.

The CS said additional resources had been allocated to the North eastern region and that measures had been put in place to ensure there is intelligence and information gathering and sharing from the lowest level of the assistant chiefs all the way to the county commissioner.

He spoke in Garissa at a meeting with Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, Deputy Inspector General—APS, Noor Gabow, GSU Commandant Douglas Kanja, Secretary for Internal Security Moffat Kangi, Secretary for National Administration Mongo Chimwaga, Regional Commissioner Musyoki Ndalana, Mandera Governor Ali Roba and his Garissa counterpart Ali Korane and all chiefs and assistant chiefs from North Eastern region.

“We are going to start unprecedented crackdown on contraband business since the trade is direct revenue to al Shabaab.

Those who engage in it are the militants’ foremost supporters and funders, and will be handled like the terrorists,” Matiang’i said.

Sustain surveillance

The minister said a multi-agency team would immediately launch a security operation and sustain surveillance along the borders to stop and deter the flow of illicit goods, services, and immigrants into the country.

The chiefs and their assistants are also expected to hold regular meetings and revive community policing, peace committees, Nyumba Kumi structures, and community outreach to complement the government’s security efforts to get information real time.

The team is expected to provide weekly updates to the CS for necessary actions and responses.

The leaders are also expected to step up engagement with the local leaders and leverage on cooperation and information sharing with civilians to effectively counter radicalisation and terrorist propaganda.

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