Influence of terror activities on Kenya's Foreign policy
Ambeyi, Loisina Mahila
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In order to protect their sovereignty, nations have at their exposure both soft and hard diplomatic tools and approaches to apply. Foreign policy is one of the key diplomatic tools at the exposure of governments who are keen to defend their territories against foreign aggressors. Policies therefore, both domestic and foreign, play a crucial and irreplaceable role in the fight against modern terrorism. The East Africa region has experienced prolonged and severe intra- and inter-state conflict which has led to poverty, instability and political isolation which result in the regions vulnerability to terrorist exploitation. Kenya’s conservative low-risk and non-interventionist approach to peace-making and peace-building that was grounded in principles of ‘good neighbourliness’ and respect for national sovereignty, changed dramatically in October 2011 with the nation’s unprecedented military intervention in Somalia. The general objective of this research study was to establish the influence terror activities have had on Kenya’s foreign policy shift between the years 2005 to 2020. The specific objectives of this study are as follows; to assess the influence of radicalization on foreign policy shift, to establish how terrorism financing inspired foreign policy shift, to determine the influence of cyberterrorism on foreign policy changes, and to assess the challenges experienced in the implementation of foreign policy shift in Kenya between the years 2005 to 2020. The findings of the study are expected to be essential to policy makers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, as well as the academia. Realism Theory and Role Approach Theory were used to guide this study. Descriptive research design was chosen for this study. Analysis of the data was conducted using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research methods. The research study was primarily performed in Nairobi. The target population of this study was comprised the KDF, National Intelligence Services (NIS), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU). The study also targeted officers from the Political Diplomatic Secretary Office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and officers from the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit. Participants for this research were chosen using non-probability sampling, specifically heterogeneous sampling. The study established that Kenya’s foreign policy was substantially influenced by influenced by terrorism activities not only within and outside Kenya. Increase in radicalizations activities in the country motivated shifts in Kenya’s foreign policies as indicated by the government’s decision to send troops into Somalia’s territory to combat the militants. Growing terror financing activities occasioned the government to amend the country’s foreign policies towards addressing terrorism within Kenya’s territory. Intensified cyberterrorism activities also instigated Kenya’s decision to shift its policies to combat the security threats. Implementation of the policy shifts has not been without challenges such as laxity in policy enforcement, poor coordination among security agencies. Furtherance to shift in foreign policy to address radicalization, the following recommendations are made; development of intercultural policies by the policy makers to foster a culture of diversity by encouraging intercultural mixing and interaction as well as political and civic participation, management of conflict positively by engaging with instead of criminalising those holding extremist views where judicious and practical, complementing the foreign policies with strong legislations that deter terrorism financing, and enhancing levels of cooperation among intelligence agencies both nationally and internationally.
Africa Nazarene University