10/21/2019
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Mandera starts six-year plan to fight extremism


Thursday April 11, 2019



Mandera Governor Ali Roba speaking during a counter-radicalisation workshop on October 22, 2018. An action plan to prevent and counter violent extremism in the county will be launched on April 11, 2019. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mandera County will launch a six-year plan on prevention and counter-violent extremism on Thursday.

The county has for long suffered from terror attacks carried out by the Somali-based Al-Shabaab group.

Terrorists cross into Mandera at will without detection due to the long and porous Kenya-Somalia border.

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The government started building a border wall in 2015 but the project has been moving at a slow pace.

MAJOR BOOST

County Chief Officer for De-radicalisation and Counter Violent Extremism Mohamed Adan Osman said the Mandera County Action Plan (MCAP), to be launched Thursday, will be a major boost in winning the war against violent extremism.

He said the plan marks a defining moment for Mandera in the fight against violent extremism.

For a long time, Mandera has produced or harboured people believed to be in contact with or likely to be lured into joining terror groups such as Al-Shabaab.

It has also been viewed as a gateway for terror activities in the country.

ECONOMIC LOSSES

According to Mr Osman, Mandera has suffered enormous economic losses, including the closure of quarries, a major source of livelihood for locals.

MCAP emphasises on collaboration between the various government agencies and non-state actors to improve security in Mandera and the country at large.

“The development of the new action plan will help improve counter-radicalisation approaches compared to the traditional security approaches,” he said.

He said involvement of women and youth in the implementation of the plan has been factored in.

MCAP was developed through an extensive consultative process involving national and county government agencies, religious leaders and civil society.

STRATEGIES

It highlights the psycho-social aspects and ideological issues that make youth join terror groups. It also details strategies that state and non-state actors can use to effectively deal with violent extremism.

A four-day forum to engage locals drawn from the perceived terror hotspots in the county dubbed “Building Local Capacities for Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism” was carried out last month.

At least 350 locals from Mandera East, Lafey, Mandera South and Kotulo sub-counties were trained on how to fight terrorism.

“We have done our best as a department in dealing with the situation by reaching out to many locals with the gospel of anti-terror and it is yielding fruits,” said Mr Osman.



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