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Nairobi, 14 April 2014 – IGAD Security Sector Program (ISSP) held a one day national workshop on Promoting International Instruments to Counter Terrorism for Kenya’s Senior Counter Terrorism Officials.  The meeting was chaired by Dr. Simon Nyambura, the Head of Counter Terrorism Pillar at ISSP. 

The objective of the workshop was to promote legal instruments and upholding a rule of law based approach to counter terrorism in Kenya. The workshop focused on encouraging the Government of Kenya to ratify (where it has not) and to domesticate international, regional and national legal instruments to counter terrorism, particularly exploring whether domestic counter terrorism law(s) in the country comprehensively criminalize offences outlined in various international and regional conventions against terrorism, and multiple UN Security Council resolutions.

Participants were drawn from the Office of the President, Office of the Attorney General, the National Commission for Human Rights, Defense Force, the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, the National Assembly, the Parliament, and the National Counter Terrorism Centre.  Experts from the UNODC, Sahan Research, the University of Nairobi, and independent advocate made presentations on the various national, regional and international legal instruments to counter terrorism as well as shared their experiences with the participants to enrich the overall objective of the workshop.

Discussions at the workshop included the various terrorism threats in the IGAD Region, the IGAD Conventions on Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition, the International Legal Instruments/Regimes, and the domestic counter terrorism laws in Kenya.  Very active and fruitful discussions were held on the various instruments at all levels critically examining the pros and cons as well as the implications of these legal instruments nationally.  Participants gained knowledge and exchanged ideas on the issues of counter terrorism related instruments.  In addition, they were able to create a network and paved the way for interdepartmental coordination nationally as well as regionally and internationally.

The workshop was adjourned with a closing remark from the Chairperson, Dr. Nyambura by expressing his thanks to the participants, the experts, the staff and the Government of Kenya.

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