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2nd Annual Law Conference Tackles Terrorism for Emerging African Democracies

Strathmore Law School (SLS) recently hosted an informative 2nd Annual Law Conference under the theme Terrorism; Challenges to Emerging Democracies in Africa. The event that tackled terrorism in a wide spectrum, was graciously attended by key security leaders in Kenya who included; Hon. Joseph Nkaissery, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government; Mr. Ndegwa Muhoro, CID Director; Mr. Isaac Ochieng, MBS, Director National Counter Terrorism Centre; Ms Nardos Bekele – Thomas, Resident Representative of the UNDP; and Mr. Adama Dieng, Under-Secretary General of the UN.


Giving the welcoming address, Strathmore University Vice Chancellor Prof. John Odhiambo pointed out the importance of the conferences’ theme stating that that the issue on terrorism is a complex humanitarian one. He urged the speakers present to deliberate on whether the Kenyan justice system is balanced, addressing the issue of whether the government protects terrorists more than commoners, as is the common perception among many Kenyans.


Hon. Nkaissery was particularly glad to be part of this initiative, which brought together different stakeholders to critically examine the challenges and generate sound policy proposals, and counter-terrorism models for the region. While giving his opening remarks, Hon. Nkaissery was quick to call attention to the real issue that the country is up against: the allure of propaganda pumped out by Al-Shabaab and others to recruit and brain wash Kenyans through social media and modern communications. In the upshot, he identified the causes of terrorism, being demographic, socio-economic or political factors, and the implications of terrorism on human life, security, good governance, socio-economic development, infrastructure, global relations and investment.


Stating that the international community must address the issues of development and isolation in order to fight terrorism, while urging Kenyans to find a balance between human rights obligations and national security, Mr. Adieng spoke of the attacks Kenya has experienced this far and the damage it has caused the country. He also spoke of the increased attacks in Africa that has seen daily loss of lives from attacks by other groups such as Boko Haram and Al-Qaida. Mr. Adieng concluded his remarks by stating the importance of ensuring that as a country we do not sacrifice democracy and human rights at the altar of terrorism.


After the speeches, the conference broke into a panel discussion session where thematic topics were discussed, which included;

  • The Economic part and social cost of terrorism
  • Terrorism and Human rights
  • The interrelation between terrorism and organized crime
  • Counter-Terrorism the way forward.

Matters such as; religion and terrorism, economic impact of terrorism in a country, terrorism financing, police reforms and the transformation management in the justice and police sector, terrorism as a form of organized crime, terrorism and human rights, the way forward in fighting terrorism and the balance between constitutionalism and counter-extremism measures were discussed in length.


The two day conference culminated with the launch of the Strathmore Institute of Advanced Studies in International Criminal Justice (SIASIC) that will be under law school. The launch was graced by the Attorney General of Kenya Prof. Githu Muigai and the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet.