Terrorism over the years has resulted in the deaths of many innocent lives across East Africa, leaving scars of unbearable trauma, along with it destroying property and infrastructure. The Al Shabaab, are the key instigators in these acts of terror characterized by the use of indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses; looking to realise a religious or political agenda, that of an Islamic East Africa governed by sharia law.
Despite these cowardly acts communities across the region and Kenya, in particular, should stand resilient in this war so as to effectively defeat the enemy. Building a resilient Kenya involves fostering a society in which individuals and communities are able to withstand violent extremist ideologies and challenge those who teach them. As East Africans, our resilience and denial of the Al Shabaab rhetoric is key in achieving stability both economic and political in the region.
We should as one support and participate in efforts that seek to protect East Africa, Kenya, and Kenyan interests from terrorist threats. We should through our resilience be able to mitigate the impacts of a terrorist attack, ensuring a rapid return to ordinary life. Offering rapid and quality emergency medical services and necessary funding for the recovery of businesses and support to broken-hearted, bereaved families.
We should be aware of the changing face of terrorism; the Al Shabaab threat has evolved over time, often adapting new techniques and capabilities to suit their malevolent plans. They use new technologies, respond to international and domestic events, and create new organizational structures and capabilities in response to domestic and international counter-terrorism efforts.
Our approach as a region should involve flexibility in counter-terrorism efforts and forward-looking to anticipate and adapt to these changes. It is our duty too to identify weaknesses in our security systems and also the factors driving the recruitment and radicalisation of our youth into the Al Shabaab group.
This fight against Al Shabaab and violent extremism doesn’t stop with government and security agencies only, we all as individuals need to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activities or occurrences. Together we can stand against the evil that is Al Shabaab.