Skip to content

Kenya now targets youth in anti-terror campaign

Storyline:National News, World

By Fauxile Kibet

NAIROBI: As the Christian Christmas holiday draws near, Kenya has taken a raft of measures aimed at deterring potential attacks from the Somalia based Al-Shabaab militant group.

Last week, the East African country deployed additional police reservists along the Kenya-Somalia border in a bid to supplement efforts by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and the Kenya Police in its war against the militants.

The Kenyan National Counter Terrorism Centre has called on Youth in Mandera and other regions that have been affected by the Al-Shabaab to shun violent extremism saying it ruined their lives.

The counter terror department also asked the youth to report to authorities people who involve in acts of terror as a way of ending the vice saying that Mandera has stagnated in growth as youth are lured into violent extremism.

Mandera is one of the regions that have born the brunt of Al-shabaab attacks and youth in the area have crossed into Somalia to join Al-Shabaab ranks.

“The youths who have joined the terror group have found the promises to be false,” NCTC official Komen Cheboi said during the closure of a four-day workshop on counter terrorism and violent extremism in Mandera town.

Cheboi said that residents play a big role in preventing attacks saying that participants at the workshop confessed that youths have abandoned their families and joined the terror group to fight against their own country.


Cheboi challenged elders in Mandera to sensitize the youth on the importance of peace and being patriotic to their motherland and at the same time asked religious leaders, politicians, and school heads to sensitize youths against violent extremism and radicalisation.

On his part, Mandera East deputy county commissioner Lawrence Omondi said terrorism had reduced in the last two years compared to the period between 2011 and 2016.

He attributed the decline to cooperation between residents and security officers adding that the building of Kenya/Somalia border security wall will reduce terror attacks.

Tens of people have been killed by terrorists in Mandera in retaliatory attacks after Kenya Defence Forces crossed into Somalia to drive away al Shabaab.