The U.K. and Kenya have signed a new five-year Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA). The agreement will enable the two countries to enhance coordination in their joint efforts to improve regional security in East Africa, including the fight against Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
The countries already regularly work together to counter the threat from Al-Shabaab, not only through training as strengthened in the DCA, but also by sharing information and identifying new ways to target the group financially with sanctions, and starve them of new recruits by addressing the root causes of violent extremism. Building on the existing agreement, the new DCA will provide a basis for the exchange of military personnel for defense activity, allowing for enhanced training opportunities and increased collaboration in peace support work.
The U.K. will also provide a range of additional enhanced counterterrorism support to Kenya, including increasing protection for tourists on the coast, where many of the 180,000 British tourists who visit Kenya every year travel to.
Kenya will also be extending U.K. programs to prevent extremism in coastal and other key areas – including the appointment of a dedicated Maritime Security officer – providing technical support to the nation’s first terrorism court, enhancing collaboration to counterterrorist financing and increasing training for Kenyan forces to tackle Al-Shabaab in the country’s north-east.
British troops help to train over 1,100 Kenyan soldiers every year before they deploy to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to fight Al-Shabaab. The British Army and Kenya Defence Force conduct around five joint training exercises every year, involving around 750 Kenyan and 5,000 British troops.