Kenya to install CCTV cameras to combat terrorism


Kenya will soon begin installing close-circuit television cameras across the country, starting with the capital Nairobi, after receiving a US$100 million grant from China.

“We are going to start the installation almost immediately,” Prime Minister Raila Odinga told Kenya’s parliament on Wednesday. “And this is going to spread to other cities, Mombasa is next, then Kisumu and other cities.”

He said that Kenya had received a US$100 million grant from China for the project, and that the goal is to stop terrorism and improve security.

Nairobi blames Somali-based al Shabaab militants for cross-border raids and kidnappings soil that have threatened the country’s multi-million dollar tourism industry. Since Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year, militants have threatened reprisals if Kenyan troops do not withdraw.

In recent days, five people have been wounded in grenade attacks on a hotel and a refugee camp. Police said four builders at a primary school in the Ifo refugee camp in Garissa, and one person at a hotel in Wajir were wounded in the attacks, Reuters reports. On Thursday, at least three people were wounded in a suspected grenade attack at a hotel in the Dadaab refugee camp, while earlier in the week, two soldiers were wounded when their vehicle hit an IED in Mandera, also in the north east.

On May 16 a suspected remote-controlled bomb went off in Dadaab, killing one police officer and wounding three. On the same day, gunmen set off grenades outside a night club in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa, killing one person and wounding several others.
“The country is at the moment facing a lot of security challenges arising from the operation in Somalia,” Odinga said. “With Al Shabaab’s capability to wage conventional warfare completely degraded, the militia has resorted to guerrilla tactics. This includes the use of grenades, improvised explosive devices and sporadic shootings to attack business premises, security forces and members of the public.”

Odinga last week also revealed that the government had spent KSh7.5 billion (US$83 million) on fighting al Shabaab in Somalia and had sent more than 4 000 troops into Somalia since October last year. However, since Kenyan joined the UN Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the United Nation will cover all expenses. “The cost of our soldiers’ expenditure in Somalia will be footed 100 per cent by the UN and therefore we will not spend anything as the government,” the Prime Minister said.

Odinga said that Kenya would set up centres inside Somalia to cater for the Somali refugees so they stay in Somalia rather than entering Kenya, which costs the economy. According to the UNHCR, Kenya has 402 905 refugees, 27 966 asylum seekers, 300 000 internally displaced persons, and 20 000 stateless persons.