The National government and county government of Kilifi have launched an Action plan to Prevent Violent Extremism, political and resource based conflicts in the county.

The Action Plan implementation will see rejuvenated energies of local structures such as Peace Committees, Nyumba Kumi, religious leaders, youth and women in order to accelerate efforts towards countering violent extremism.

Kilifi Action Plan implementation is set to run for at least a year with the aim to provide a leeway in which leaders across Kilifi County will rally all actors towards preventing and countering violent extremism.

It will also enhance networking, collaboration and partnership for the implementation of K-CAP.

Led by Kilifi County Commissioner on Wednesday at Kilifi North Chief’s office where the launch was hosted, Kutswa Olaka applauded all the stakeholders who put in their effort in ensuring that the remodeled K-CAP was in place.

“When we have talks in countering extremism, we have to understand that it is not about religion but people who have been misled and use religion as an excuse in executing their mandate,” Kutswa clarified.

Kutswa said that there is a need to involve religious leaders across the board to prevent an environment where the youth will be misled by using various means to eradicate extremism.

Kilifi County Commisioner Kutswa Olaka signing Counter Violent Extremism Action plan during launch at Chief’s Office in Kilifi North on Wednesday Photo by Treeza Auma

He emphasized the need to ensure that families are well-off to avoid extremists from misleading them in a way disguised as helping them but in reality, all they do is recruit them.

Representing the County Government, director of gender social services in Kilifi county Mwangome Shumaa said the devolution government is economically empowering women and youth to ensure they are not lured to join terrorism groups.

He added that the county has established peace policy which has already been passed and enforced with the county assembly.

“If we are not taking care of our young people then there is a likelihood of increased vulnerability for push factors to influence young people joining terror groups escalating. As the county government department of Gender we have put in place measures to empower young people and women who in most occasions fall victims of manipulation,” Shumaa said.

KECOSCE Planning and Implementing Officer Joseph Sianda told the media after the launch that the Action Plan will be enacted by the end of 2022.

He urged the community to make use of the contacts indicated in the launched security cards so as to report any suspicions of violence extremism during the electioneering period.

Most importantly we have identified seven pillars to lead the community’s strategies in countering violent extremism. Our main focus cutting across all the pillars is to improve economy among youths to prevent them from falling victims of manipulation. We also have ideology as one of the pillars to identify all the possible scape goats being used by recruits to join the groups,” Sianda said.

NCTC Head of Prevention and Resilience Njenga Miiri commended Kilifi county residents for serving a good example to other counties in fighting violent extremism.

“The collaboration between National government and County government will make strides in ensuring we counter extremism,” Njenga said.

Embassy of Denmark to Kenya representative, Makena Kirima from emphasized that there is need to involve the community in K-CAP in order to understand challenges at county level.

“We have enough resources to mitigate radicalization and all that is required is the communities’ contribution” she said.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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