Kenyan Navy Gets Patrol Boats

Monday, October 09, 2006
Reuters has reported that the U.S. government on Friday gave the Kenyan Navy six boats to patrol its coastline and help combat terrorism. According to the report, the project, valued at $3m is a major initiative to help the government of Kenya combat insecurity and terrorism. The U.S. government has been helping African governments train and equip local troops to combat militants who Washington believes want to create safe havens in the continent's vast and hard-to-govern regions. Security experts say Kenya's porous borders and coastline could be exploited by militants posing a threat to U.S. interests and looking for a gateway into the continent through Kenya. Kenya has already witnessed a number of attacks -- the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and an attack at a coastal resort four years later. Kenya's Defense Minister Njenga Karume said the east African government was worried about instability in Somalia.

The United States and Kenya have a common security interest in Somalia, where Islamist forces have been battling a transitional government. There is evidence the perpetrators of the 1998 embassy attack found sanctuary in the country. Somalia's waters are also among the most dangerous for shipping in the world since the country descended into anarchy after the 1991 ouster of a military dictator by warlords. Pirates have frequently targeted ships and taken crew hostage along its coast. Source: Reuters

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