Jul 12, 2019

GOK Progress in Counter Terrorism and Violent Extremism

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Terrorism has been a hot issue in Kenya since the dawn of the 21st century. Nonetheless, the government has made significant progress in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. These achievements span through the various spheres of our society. Consequently, it is only right to give credit where its due.

About a year ago, the president revealed the government’s plan to comprehensive tackle the problem within the country’s borders using a multi-agency mechanism named the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC). Hence, the agency has made significant progress in making the country safer. Recently, the president signed the Statute Law Bill, making it a law which has cemented the government’s commitment to the counterterrorism fight. The newly mandated law extends the reach of the NCTC, making it a fully multi-agency authority. The National Police, Ministry of Foreign affairs, the Kenya National Prison Services, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and the Director of Public Prosecution have all been made part of the NCTC by the law in question. Accordingly, Kenya has more manpower to curb terrorism.

Additionally, the government has made sufficient progress fighting violent extremism through measures such as the rehabilitation programs. These initiatives have been instituted in localities prone to the highest rates of recruitments in a bid to promote the de-radicalization of youths in the community. The result has been success stories of returnees assimilating back to society. The amnesty provided to all who wish to renounce radicalization has been instrumental to the success of the program.

We cannot forget Kenya’s role in weeding out Al-Shabaab from Somalia as part of the AMISOM forces. The current rag tug state of the terror group is mainly due to the government pledge to see through the fight. Although a significant portion of the troops has withdrawn from the country, the Somali government has an able security force to maintain stability in the Nation. The booming economy in Somalia attests to the reduction of Al-Shabaab activity in the region. Furthermore, the Kenyan military has tightly secured the border keeping off any remnants of the militia group. It is only a few weeks ago that the forces killed several Al-Shabaab members indicating their vigilance in the border towns.

The government is also working with the United Nations and the African Union to foster sustainable solutions among the terror-prone communities in both Kenya and Somalia. As quoted in a statement last year, the president recognized the importance of empowering the said communities. He called onto the international community to be part of the reconciliation and reconstruction process. Accordingly, the government is engaged in all angles to contain the menace of terrorism and violent extremism.

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