The Isiolo, Samburu, Marasabit and Moyale Highway has been identified as a Human trafficking corridor that leaves Samburu County vulnerable to terrorism activities.
Speaking during a Stakeholders’ Workshop on the Samburu Rapid County Action Plan to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism (R-CAP) at a Maralal hotel, the Samburu Women Representative, Maison Leshoomo noted that the highway connecting Kenya to Ethiopia has witnessed several cases of human and drug trafficking.
Leshoomo noted that the smugglers are usually arrested deep in Samburu County after exiting the highway while evading police roadblocks.
“This smuggling route seems unmanned and leaves Samburu vulnerable to all sorts of violent extremism. We therefore urge the government to equip police with adequate patrol cars to inspect all vehicles ferrying passengers along the highways especially at night,” she said.
The legislator said many youths can be lured into joining terrorists groups as a result of idleness due to lack of employment.
She challenged government to invest in factories that would create employment opportunities for youths in each county to keep them busy from thinking of joining terrorism.
The Samburu County Commissioner (CC), John Korir also urged residents to be vigilant against suspicious strange people in their villages and closely cooperate with government by reporting suspicious people and activities to security agencies for action.
“Any place in this country can be a breeding ground for terrorists, people ought to be extra careful about visitors in their areas and closely cooperate with government by giving information to stakeholders in the security department,” he said.
The three-day stakeholder meeting has been organized by the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) to develop the county action plan to prevent and counter violent extremism.
Benson Ngeiwa, who led the team from NCTC) said their main objective to sensitize people to reject violent extremism.
“Secondly is to deny radicalizers and recruiters an opportunity to entice people to join terror activities,” he said.
By Robert Githu