Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK) have signed a new security cooperation deal, that will see the two nations strengthen security ties.
The agreement was signed under the third UK-Kenya Security Dialogue by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Fred Matiang’i and the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace.
Matiang’i hosted Mr Wallace at the start of a two-day visit to Kenya, which now moves on to focus on the UK and Kenya’s longstanding defence relationship.
“We, the Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Kenya, were therefore delighted to meet once again in this Senior Ministerial forum and agree a refreshed Security Compact, providing renewed impetus and strategic direction for addressing these shared challenges together,” a statement from the parties read in part.
This comes a year after President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched the UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership in London.
“Kenya has been at the forefront of the global war against terror and it is partnerships like these that make a difference, and the world a safer place to be in. This Security Compact will see both countries strengthen their capacity to respond to various facets of global security challenges in a more formidable manner. I look forward to working closely with the UK in achieving this goal,” said Dr Matiang’i.
Speaking after signing the pact, Wallace revealed that there are over 200 UK Armed Forces personnel based in Kenya, saying that the agreement would see more security investments in the country.
“Our nations face shared threats, from violent extremism to organised crime. The security agreement we have signed today will allow us to further deepen our relationship and tackle regional defence issues as ever closer partners,” said Wallace.
The Security Dialogue talks focused on enhancing coordination and collaboration in tackling Al-Shabaab and demonstrating joint leadership on security challenges of international significance – notably instability in the Horn of Africa – as befits two members of the United Nations Security Council.
“The evolution of the Compact is testament to the responsiveness of our bilateral partnership, as we adapt to the changing nature of threats, in working together for the security of our two countries, East Africa and the wider world,” added Wallace.
On September 28, 2015, the Governments of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Kenya signed the first UK-Kenya Security Compact, a commitment to strengthen security partnership.
“Since then, our security partnership has been further advanced by the signing of a second UK-Kenya Security Compact in August 2018 and the launch of the UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership in January 2020,” added the statement.