Kenya Must Change Counterterrorism Tacts
Terrorism remains a global menace that nearly all countries have to struggle with managing if not to completely sweep out.
Kenya like it’s neighboring countries as Somalia, Uganda and other violence prone parts, continue to come into terms with the reality of dealing with the menace.
In accordance with the United Nations four pillar Counter Terrorism Strategy, Kenya must curb radicalization, funding and training; spruce up intelligence gathering; build police and other security organs’ capacity in investigating and prosecuting terror suspects. We must also follow the constitution to the letter.
Only a well trained, corruption free criminal justice system can nip terror in the bud. Additionally, in the spirit of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State of the Nation Speech regarding historical injustices, the state should be alive to its past misdeeds. It should take positive steps to ensure every Kenyan feels like a Kenyan.
Lastly, corruption is what has crippled all systems in Kenya. It must be purged from the public services as a matter of necessity. Corruption remains the greatest if not the only shortcoming of the only process of the establishment.
At a point, the Kenyans authority guaranteed protection to the Shabaab fighters who sort amnesty and were promised security on surrendering to the authorities but things haven’t measured up to the letter. Most of the reformed fighters who have given up themselves to the authorities haven’t had touch with an ease environment.
The counterterrorism strategies adopted by the Kenyan forces have to a larger extent fueled rather than quelled the surging radicalization. In the Northern Part of Kenya which borders the war prone Somalia, forced disappearances blamed on anti terror unit continue to be in the rise. So Shabaab is reigning terror in the locals and they feel nearly same way on the local authorities which fuels radicalization.
Economical segregation that has seen the Northern Part of Kenya marginalised is another factor that can’t be overlooked. The region despite wide resources and potential remains poorest. The oppression and distancing with the central power dates years back. In the fight against terrorism, every citizen needs the sense of entitlement and that happens if resources are distributed equally and every citizen given even treatment by the reigning authorities.
Service delivery remains a contagious issue, getting a mere fundamental document as national ID card is a nightmare to the occupants of Northern Kenya. The governments have been playing cat and rat games with this keeping many waiting for years to get the document. Some die without seeing this. The politics behind non issuance is unknown.
Terrorists continue to have their ways across the Kenya-Somalia borders under full military protection because of corruption. Poorly paid security officers will easily take few dollars from the terrorists to allow them move on and out caches. This has been the case allowing weapons to cross in and out. Livelihoods of the officers need to be looked in to and be motivated with a matching salary.