Kenya Opens UK-Funded Anti-Terrorism Police Unit Headquarters

The British High Commissioner, Jane Marriott, and Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Dr. Fred Matiang’i opened the first Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) Coast Regional Headquarters and Mombasa Police Station, worth KES81 million. The police station will provide a dedicated space for the ATPU to work on terrorism cases. It will also allow direct access to the ATPU for the public, creating more awareness about the ATPU’s work and strengthening its relationship with the local community. Human rights compliance and international standards such as the Mandela Rules have been at the heart of the building’s design. The station includes a secure detention facility with separate cells and private ablution amenities for men, women, and children. It is a testament to the UK and Kenya’s shared commitment to the rule of law and international human rights.

The British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott, said: “Kenya is the UK’s premier security partner in East Africa. A primary focus of this partnership is to strengthen counter-terrorism capacity within the criminal justice system, in line with international human rights standards. The UK works with stakeholders across the criminal justice pathway, including investigators, detention supervisors, prosecutors, and judiciary, all of whom are key to preventing and disrupting terrorist activity.” “Terrorism is one of the biggest threats facing our countries. To counter this threat, I am delighted to support Kenya with approximately KES 1bn [£7m] a year.”

Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior Dr. Fred Matiang’i said: “As a Government, we applaud the UK-Kenya Security Compact agreed in 2018 and the incorporation of the UK Kenya Strategic Partnership 2020 – 2025, through which the British High Commission has worked with the Government of Kenya to establish this modern, purpose-built police station with detention facilities for ATPU Coast in Mombasa. “With the assistance of our partners, we have steadily grown our capabilities to confront terrorism and other transnational crimes. We are immensely grateful to the people of the United Kingdom, through the British High Commission (Nairobi), for our continued warm and cordial working relationship and particularly on Counter Terrorism.” “The building has state-of-the-art rooms including, storage areas, conference room, IT room, server area, armory, CCTV room, 9 holding cells for male, female, and juvenile all fitted with fixed beds, modern toilet, and adequate ventilation.”

Over the last year, the UK has supported the ATPU with various activities including training on terrorist financing, witness interviews, IEDs, gender sensitivity as well as the delivery of an internationally accredited Training of Trainers program. Going forward, we are pleased to continue specialist skills training support in this building. The building has dedicated spaces for different ATPU teams – investigations, evidence analysis, and forensics – enabling them to work together under one roof. It also has a multi-agency room for the ATPU to invite in and to work closely with other national security bodies and international partners in a secure environment. A training room is also available to facilitate the ATPU to embed key skills across their personnel.

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Written by Mercy ANURIKA

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