EUCAP Sahel Niger

EU, ISTC and Kenya co-operating to mitigate CBRN risks and threats

27/06/2019 - 14:32
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On 24-25 June 2019, a joint delegation of the European Commission (EC) and the International Science & Technology Centre (ISTC) visited Nairobi, in order to discuss the growing threat posed by high-risk chemical, biological, radiological & nuclear (CBRN) materials and the possible membership of Kenya in the ISTC.

 

The ISTC is an intergovernmental organisation, based in Kazakhstan, and was created after the end of the Cold War in order to engage with nuclear scientists from the former Soviet Union.  Recently, the organisation received a new mandate to work with countries worldwide on a range of security-related topics.  The ISTC is looking to broaden its membership in Africa and is inviting both Kenya and South Africa to join its ranks as full members. 

The EC-ISTC mission was received by the Ministry of Interior & Coordination of National Government, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Health.  The meetings provided an opportunity to discuss security and nuclear safety issues, in the context of Kenya’s plans to embark upon nuclear energy development, as part of its future energy mix. 

In the past decade, the world has witnessed increased destabilisation, involving inter alia the offence use of CBRN materials (e.g. the chemical attacks in Syria) and there are increasing fears that dangerous radiological & nuclear (RN) materials could fall into the hands of non-state actors.  Non-state actors –including terrorist groups- may use CBRN materials to carry out terrorist attacks (the use of dirty bombs, a chemical attack on a market place or the poisoning of food in supermarkets). 

The EC-ISTC mission pointed out that Kenya already plays a key role in the Eastern & Central Africa (ECA) region, because the CBRN Regional Secretariat for the ECA region is located in Nairobi, hosted by the Radiation Protection Board (RBP). The CBRN Regional Secretariat in Nairobi brings together and coordinates the implementation of activities for a total of eleven CBRN partner countries in the ECA region. 

The EC-ISTC mission expressed the hope that Kenya would continue to take a lead role in the region through joining the ISTC and working with neighbouring countries on strengthening security.  It is only through regional and international co-operation that security risks, including CBRN threats, can be reduced and managed.  

For more information on the EU CBRN CoE Initiative, kindly visit: http://www.cbrn-coe.eu/

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