Kenyatta promises new tactics against Shabaab

2015-06-02 21:04
Kenyan politician Uhuru Kenyatta. (File, AFP)

Kenyan politician Uhuru Kenyatta. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised a new campaign to stop people joining violent radical groups and to fight the influence of Somali Islamists whose attacks have killed hundreds and threatened growing prosperity.

Suggesting a change in strategy with more use of discussion and persuasion, Kenyatta said conventional policing methods would not be enough to tackle the threat from radicalised men and women.

"To deal with this enemy, we must keep improving our methods and tactics... We must stop them from being radicalised," Kenyatta said on Monday during a speech marking Madaraka Day national holiday.

Dealing with the rising threat of home-grown radicals has become a priority for Kenyatta. Some of the gunmen involved in the biggest attacks on Kenyan soil in recent years, including the slaughter of 148 people at Garissa University in April, were Kenyan citizens who had joined Somalia's al Shabaab.

The attacks have also threatened Kenya's rapid growth in prosperity, ravaging the east African nation's tourism sector and denting its image abroad.

Diplomats have long criticised Nairobi for its heavy-handed approach to tackling radicalisation among Kenya's 4.3 million Muslims, urging the government to use softer tactics that would win over the community and help with intelligence gathering.

Al-Shabaab has vowed to punish Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight the group as part of an African Union peacekeeping force.

Kenyatta did not reveal how the anti-radicalisation drive would work in practice, but said the government would soon start working with civil-society groups and faith-based leaders to implement it.

Kenya had in April offered an amnesty for al-Shabaab militants who wanted to hand themselves in.

'This is a matter of ideology'

Nelson Marwa, county commissioner for the coastal Mombasa region, said several youths had surrendered and the government planned to assign them Muslim clerics and counsellors who would offer them alternative views.

"This is a matter of ideology, and we have to use another ideology to neutralise," Marwa said.

Al-Shabaab's attacks have scared off visitors and dented Kenya's vital tourism industry, with mass redundancies and hotel closures reported along the coastal region.

Kenya's task of winning over Muslims is made harder by the perceived brutality of its security forces. Kenya's police chief Joseph Boinnet on Sunday said the police would investigate photos circulated on social media purportedly showing officers in the Garissa region "flogging" 10 handcuffed young men.

Diplomats have also criticised Kenya's move to shut down Haki Africa and Muhuri, two prominent Muslim human rights groups which had been working with radicalised youths.

Read more on:    al shabaab  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  kenya  |  east africa  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.