Leaders from northeastern Kenya unanimously agreed on Monday that terrorism can’t be ended with guns and called for amnesty for youth in al Shabaab. At the opening of a conference in Mandera on countering terrorism and violent extremism, the leaders said terrorism cannot be combated and ended with guns. They called on the central government to extend amnesty to youth who have joined al Shabaab to enable them to come home. Many have said they won’t return because they fear the security forces will murder them.
“You cannot fight a problem if you are part of it. Our first commitment should be to engage the government and see to it that our youths in the ranks of al Shabaab are given amnesty after returning from Somalia. That’s because they are the genesis of all the problems we are facing today,” said Korane.
Since 2012, Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties have born the brunt of terror attacks targeting non-locals and government officials, including security officers. the KDF entered Somalia in 2012 to pursue Al-Shabaab. The militants say attacks in Kenya are intended to force the state to leave Somalia. “I appeal to security officers that we form a joint committee and request Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to give an amnesty. [He should] encourage them to come back, integrate them in society and give them a livelihood,” Korane said.
Mandera governor Ali Roba blamed Al-Shabaab sympathisers for abetting terror activities, saying they aim to bring the area economy to its knees. Roba, who chairs the Frontier Counties Development Council, said the aim of shabaab is to cripple business in the region and completely disrupt the way of life of residents.
Source: The Star