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Kenya to fight terrorism, revive tourism with largest fiscal plan

Friday, June 12, 2015

Kenyan government on Thursday unveiled a 21.8 billion US dollars package, the largest ever, to fight terrorism, generate economic activity and tackle rising instability after a series of terror attacks over the year.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said, during a special session in Parliament to present the 21.8 billion budget, equivalent to 30.7 percent of the country's gross domestic product, that a large section of the budget, would be spent on fighting terrorism.

The security docket, comprising the State Department of Interior, the National Intelligence Services (NIS) and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), received 2.32 billion dollars.

"The terrorist attacks in coastal region of Lamu, Mandera in the north and Garissa, Eastern Kenya, recently have reminded us that we have ruthless groups in our neighbourhood. These attacks have affected our capacity to attract foreign investments and affected our business climate," Rotich said, adding that an additional of 15,000 service personnel are to be added to the security forces to reinforce response to terrorism.

And for tourism, which is also hit hard by series of terror attacks, the Treasury allocated one of its largest single allocations of 55 million dollars to the revival of the sector.

At least 148 people were killed when armed Somalia-based Al- Shabaab stormed a university campus in northeast Kenya's Garissa town in April. And in late 2014, twin attacks by Al-Shabaab militants killed 58 people in Mandera county.

Kenya is building a wall along the common border to curb the uncontrolled immigration along the porous border with Somalia. Other measures contained in the latest fiscal plan aim at tightening surveillance border towns to give the security forces an upper hand in urban warfare should future attacks occur.


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