State responses to terrorism among east African countries from the 1990s to 2015: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda

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University of Dar es Salaam
Present-day terrorism is deemed by some statesmen, scholars, and lawyers to be a global problem requiring global response. It is thought that the fight against terrorism cannot be won by unlilateral state action; that it requires countries across the world to cooperate and embrace similar measures. Several international, regional, and national legislations have been enacted against terrorism, most of which require all states to cooperate in combating it. In view of such calls and enactments, this study investigates and analyzes the various state perceptions of, and responses to, terrorism in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and their implications thereof. Anchored on the neorealist-cum-social constructivist theoretical foundations, the study employs predominantly qualitative techniques to obtain expert opinion on the subject matter from the administrative cities of the three countries, and uses narrative, explanatory, and descriptive analysis to provide an understanding of state responses to terrorism in the sub-region. Acquiring data from both secondary and primary sources, the study unearths the differing conceptions of, and responses to, terrorism; draws the pattern of state responses to terrorism; and predicts the future of the ‘global war on terror’ using the eyes of the state in the three selected East African countries. The findings demonstrate that, a propensity has taken root amongst state authorities to deem alleged terrorists as not ordinary criminals but political offenders; and thus counterterrorism measures are infused with political and emotional charges. Accordingly, states frequently resort to fighting terrorism with varied goals in mind. Hence each of the three countries has been taking different measures at different times against different purported terrorists and terrorist groups. For example, while Kenya and Uganda have at different times and goals resorted to militarized approach against al-Shabaab in Somalia, Tanzania has remained silent on the matter. Besides, the study finds that excessive application of military means to counter terrorism results in negative outcomes on the responding states. It hence recommends for the exploitation by states in East Africa of non-military methods to end or reduce threats of terrorism. Education and job creation are key elements in the fight against poverty, which will consequently eliminate the breading nests for terrorism.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HV6433.A353K574)
Terrorism, Africa East, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda
Kitigwa, Miraji Masudi (2018) State responses to terrorism among east African countries from the 1990s to 2015: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam