NEWS By Kevin J Kelley, Special Correspondent Posted Tuesday, August 7 2012 at 15:19 Tanzania leads East African countries in successful fight against piracy and terrorism as others like Kenya and Uganda dithered, a new US report shows. Kenya and Uganda lacked key capabilities, the US State Department said last week adding overall in Africa, the US sees some progress in the fight against terrorism, particularly in Somalia. But incidents of terrorism in the Sub-Saharan region are said to have risen last year by about 11.5 per cent, due in large part to attacks carried out in Nigeria by the Boko Haram group. Tanzania has remained terror-free since al-Qaida's 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Dar es Salaam, notes the State Department's worldwide survey of terrorism for 2011. That may in part be because "the Tanzania Police Force has been very receptive to State Department anti-terrorism assistance training." More than 250 of the country's police officers were trained by the US last year. Tanzania also made progress in constructing a legal framework for combating terrorism, the US says. Regulations related to the 2002 Prevention of Terrorism Act had been "stalled for years," but were formalised in 2011, enabling Tanzania to begin formulating a national anti-terrorism strategy, the report states. Efforts to stop money laundering in Tanzania have not been as successful, the US finds. A regional oversight body publicly identified "deficiencies" in Tanzania's approach in 2010, but a year later the same monitoring group found that Tanzania's corrective actions had been "insufficient," the US report notes. Kenya is also faulted for lacking adequate legal means for disrupting money laundering operations as well as for prosecuting suspected terrorists. At the same time, the US says the Kenyan government "demonstrated increased political will" in securing its borders and taking other steps to safeguard the country. Last week's report offers a similar assessment in regard to Uganda. But complaints about human rights abuses have significantly limited Uganda's ability to prevent terror attacks, the US adds. It points to the disbanding last year of a police rapid response unit due to allegations of human rights violations. "The Anti-Terrorist Act made terrorist financing illegal, but Ugandan authorities have not used this law to investigate any money laundering or terrorist financing cases," the report adds. Somalia, the epicentre of terrorist activity in East Africa, remained largely lawless last year, although Al-Shabaab fighters were pushed out of some areas by African Union forces, the US says Laws against money laundering were found to be "unenforceable" in Somalia, "given the limited area of control of the government and its lack of capacity." Al-Shabaab was meanwhile able to finance its operations through "taxation" in areas it controlled as well as by means of revenue derived from Kismaayo port, the State Department says. A public relations campaign conducted by Somali authorities proved "more adept" last year in countering Al-Shabaab own propaganda, the report notes. It points to an emerging government narrative depicting Al-Shabaab as "neither authentically Islamic nor Somali in its actions and objectives." The time lag between release of the terror report and the period it covers is evident in the section on Rwanda. No mention is made of the Rwandan government's alleged support for a breakaway militia in eastern Congo. Citing a UN report on Rwanda's role, the Congolese government has condemned this development, which also recently led Washington to suspend a small military-aid programme for Kigali. But last week's US report says that "the government of Rwanda continued security cooperation and information sharing with the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to combat on going mutual threats."