The number of repulsed attacks in Kenya has recorded a high in recent days. This has been attributed to the intensified collaboration between the security organs and members of the public.
Forums under themes like “Lenga Ugaidi” and “Tuepuke Ugaidi” have guided the agenda during public forums against terrorism and violent extremism in various parts of the country. Volatile counties like Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Lamu, and Mombasa have rolled out a series of these forums and have gone ahead to host government officials in community forums spearheaded by members of the public.
These conventions include sensitization and education on the vice by experts in order to provide a better understanding for the members of the public who then Counter-Terrorism from a point of knowledge.
Formation of community policing groups has also made it easy for authorities to capture Al Shabaab militants disguising as normal citizens. Provision of hotlines by these security agencies has contributed to the rising number of attempted attacks.
Civil-military Cooperation where security agencies avail support both material and moral provide good grounds for interaction between the government and members of the public. Through interactions like football tournaments, basketball games, and athletics, the common ‘mwananchi’ changes the already planted perception of security personnel and is able to freely convey a message without fear. In return, security agencies provide anonymity to avoid profiling by fellow members of the community.
Religious institutions being fertile grounds for radicalisation have been at the forefront in countering terrorism. Religious leaders, in particular, make part of leaders in security-oriented groups to assist in community initiatives like educating masses and ensuring right religious teachings.
Rounding up the community in the fight against terrorism means that efforts to root out violent extremism will come from the people weaponised with the right information. This is right track as a country looking to eradicate violent extremism may it be religious or political.