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We need to deal with terrorism in a co-ordinated way, say Ramaphosa and Kenyatta

Amanda Khoza Presidency reporter
President Cyril Ramaphosa hosts Kenyan coutnerpart Uhuru Kenyatta during a state visit on Tuesday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa hosts Kenyan coutnerpart Uhuru Kenyatta during a state visit on Tuesday.
Image: Alon Skuy

President Cyril Ramaphosa has given assurances that should SA fall prey to a terrorist attack, the country is ready.

“It is possible that they will find their way to us here but they will find us ready for them as well,” said Ramaphosa on Tuesday.

Briefing the media together with his Kenyan counterpart President Uhuru Kenyatta on a range of issues, Ramaphosa said the best way to fight terrorism was in a co-ordinated manner.

The two statesmen were taking questions from journalists after bilateral talks.

Ramaphosa said: “A threat by insurgence should never be seen as a localised or just focusing on one country. They co-operate and all of these groupings that come in different names, they co-ordinate their activities and are in constant communication.

“We therefore need to respond in a co-ordinated manner as the continent and various regions on our continent as far as sharing information, intelligence and working together to withstand and resist and also go after them.

“We certainly have found that working together in our region,  in Sadc, dealing with the Mozambican situation is bearing a great deal of fruit and success.”

He said the “theatre in Mozambique can spread very quickly and easily”.

“Now Uganda is bearing the brunt of all of this and we have co-operated at close range with President [Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa] Museveni, who has also shared information continuously with us. We as SA and Sadc stand ready to give assistance as we also get assistance from friendly sister countries like Kenya, Uganda and many others,” said Ramaphosa.  

Kenyatta added: “Terrorism is not a fight that can be fought by any one country. SA is co-operating with other countries in Sadc, in Mozambique, to defeat these terrorists.

“We must always recognise that despite them having different names, they are all collectively working together and therefore, as governments, we need to work together.

“There is no Mozambican, Kenyan, Ugandan or Congolese terrorist. They are all, unfortunately, young misled people who follow a wrong ideology and therefore we need to work together to be able to defeat them before they hurt us.”

Kenyatta said it is possible to find that some of the terrorists in Mozambique were from Kenya or Tanzania, “so these kind of elements can only be defeated when governments work together”.

The Kenyan head of state said during his bilateral talks with Ramaphosa this matter was re-emphasised — “that there is a need for all of us to come together to be able to defeat this enemy of the people”.

“Today it will be Uganda and tomorrow it will be elsewhere,”

said Kenyatta.


On Israel being accredited on the AU, both leaders said it is a matter under consideration. Ramaphosa said: “We did touch on this matter... and at a public level we expressed our disquiet and we both agreed that the manner at which it was done, could have been done better.”

Ramaphosa said the matter will be relegated for discussion at the AU heads of states meeting in February. “We are going to get a chance to fully examine this matter and discuss it properly and get into the full contours of this matter and see what the efficacy of having such a dispensation for the state of Israel is for the African continent.”

Adding his voice Kenyatta said, “Whenever we are dealing with critical matters it is important to make sure that you carry everybody along... We (Africa) have too many problems of our own to want to be divided about problems that are outside our continent.

“It is a matter that shall be discussed and I am sure we will find a proper resolution but the important thing is for Africa to continue maintaining the stance that we have always had and that is that we speak in one voice. That we deliberate on issues and we take decisions as a body.”