Kenya is seeking to strengthen cooperation with China, particularly in terms of intelligence sharing, joint security operations and security management in a strategic move to bolster its security capabilities in the wake of escalating global threats.
Dr. Raymond Omollo, Principal Secretary (PS) of Internal Security and National Administration, has said the move will play a critical role in boosting Kenya’s capacity to tackle emerging security threats.
He emphasised that the rapidly evolving global security landscape necessitates a unified approach to preserving peace.
PS Omollo singled out terrorism, cyberattacks, transnational crime, regional conflicts and climate change as the major challenges posing a threat to global peace.
“Given current trends and the interconnectivity of our world through globalization, no nation remains impervious to these threats. However, these new challenges also offer us opportunities for strategic reevaluation and collaboration,” stated Omollo.
The PS was speaking on Tuesday when he issued Kenya’s inaugural speech at the Ministerial Roundtable at the Global Public Security Cooperation Forum in Lianyungang, China, themed ‘One World, Common Security’.
He noted that the forum sets a platform for Kenya and China to engage in candid conversations and to firm up strategic issues that bind the two countries in the pursuit of sustainable peace, security and development cooperation.
“In the face of these shared risks, we must also create global resilience,” urged Omollo, noting that Kenya and China regard each other as equal partners with unique contributions to the realisation of mutual interests.
He added that Kenya is looking to engage in more bilateral and multilateral security agreements with China and other partners.
In his address, the PS further pointed out that Kenya’s police officers have been receiving technical training on the security and management of large-scale infrastructure from China and stressed the need for expansion of the training programme to include other topical issues such as transnational crime and maritime security so as to incorporate more law enforcement agencies.
Further, Omollo expressed optimism that the ongoing collaborations with China will expedite the Police Equipment Modernization Programme, aimed at equipping security officers deployed in high-risk areas and contributing to mobility and modern communication systems.
“The government has allocated resources for modern weaponry, advanced machinery, and reliable personal protective gear for security agents,” he added.
The PS further revealed that the state is currently enhancing its command, control, and communication capacity to boost the operational efficiency of the National Police Service through the deployment of new hardware and state-of-the-art technology.
Turning attention to border security, he noted that Kenya is actively working towards securing its borders with neighbouring countries through integrated border management.
Additionally, Omollo asserted that Kenya is seeking technical assistance, training, and capacity building for its border personnel and law enforcement agencies, including the Kenya Coast Guard Service, to bolster border and maritime security.
“It is our hope that through international cooperation, we will acquire more state-of-the-art surveillance equipment and enhance our situational awareness and border control,” he remarked.
PS Omollo also voiced concerns about the escalating impact of climate change, identifying prolonged drought and climate-induced migration as major threats to the nation’s stability.
He stressed that the region’s violent conflicts have resulted from competing for limited natural resources.
Regarding the influx of migrants, the PS cautioned that it could strain diplomatic relations and potentially provoke social tensions, citing instances in some refugee camps.
Nevertheless, he maintained that Kenya has adopted a cross-border cooperation approach to address these challenges in the best interests of its citizens.
“We hope that more partners can join us in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, and we look forward to the implementation of the recommendations captured during this Global Public Security Forum,” Omollo reiterated.
He affirmed Kenya’s unwavering commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with China and all international partners.
By Michael Omondi