President Uhuru Kenyatta’s plans to roll out a national counter terrorism strategy is set to benefit when the country hosts the Regional Conference on Countering Violent Extremism which Interior Principal Secretary Monica Juma says will be used in forming a National Counter Radicalization Strategy.
The four-day forum, set to start on June 25 to June 28 will focus on a nine-issue approach that includes reviewing factors promoting violent extremism, narratives and counter narratives being used to promote the vice and those that can be used to stop it among others.
Addressing a forum of Non Governmental Organisation officials on Tuesday morning at a Nairobi hotel, the Principal Secretary also said that the forum will focus on promoting the role of media and internet in fighting the menace.
“We want to determine how terrorists are utilizing this space to radicalize and recruit members and then come up with a plan to use the same platforms to fight the menace,” the Principal Secretary emphasized.
During the forum that will be attended by senior regional and global players in security matters, she said Kenya will call for a global approach in fighting terror which will include mutual responsibility for countries proved to be working against the war.
She said the Government hopes to establish the, “degree of resilience” for those whore have since been radicalized in a bid to ensure it does not scale to terrorism.
“We also want to establish the entry points; where people are being recruited and also know what motivates them to joining terror groups,” she pointed out.
Aware of the magnitude of terror threats in Kenya and the region, she said the Government wants to formulate an all inclusive approach where, “effective Non-Governmental Organisations and the private sector shall be involved.”
“The private sector, especially tourism, has been hard hit. They should be part of the discussion in how to approach security issues. Terror has always had a negative impact on the economy, mostly in the developing countries.”
Through this, she said Africa – having been hard hit by global terror network activities will be able to know the financiers of terror groups and those who supply military weapon to them in a bid to curb it.
“Terrorism is not a Kenyan problem, it is a global menace. Initially, terrorist used to hit on Kenya because we host various entities but the script has changed…they are now going for the soft targets,” she cautioned.
The forum which comes as Kenya tries to re-focus its security approach to the war on terror is set to encourage security players to work on an evidence based action that will include enhancing research on the menace.