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Nyamira lauded for Countering Violent Extremism

The National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), head of prevention and resilience, Mr. Njenga Miiri, has lauded representatives of key pillars identified in Nyamira County to mainstreaming messages of countering violent extremism to various audiences in their areas of specialization.

Njenga observed that Kenya has made great strides in creating awareness to members of the public on how to detect, where to report and defense strategies in case one is attacked by terrorists and even rescue procedures for those that have been attacked, courtesy of numerous sensitization forums to members of the public on how to counter violent extremism.

“It is important for members of the public to have critical information about terrorists and stop associating it with a particular religion because terrorists recruit anyone irrespective of their religious affiliation and take advantage of people’s vulnerability and ignorance to lure them to condemned gangs, which secretly plan to execute illegal mass killings of innocent people. Terrorists only use the Muslim region as their entry point, but they recruit people from any religious affiliation and tribe,” the chairman clarified.

Njenga thanked representatives of key pillars identified in Nyamira which included; ideological, education, economic, media/internet, law and enforcement and political for taking their sensitization mandate seriously and creating awareness to members of the public on how to handle the issue of terrorism.

He urged them to continue with their good work because the fight against terrorism is still on.

“Members of the public have seen the importance of sharing information and report people of questionable character or have suddenly changed behavior, they can freely discuss on trigger factors which may lure youths into joining terrorist gangs or accept to be radicalized so that they are nipped in good time before they get out of hand and cost people’s lives courtesy of sensitization forums which were taken seriously,” the officer said.

He explained that terrorist’s strategies of attack are dynamic, they keep on evolving by use of new tactics every time and they are not ready to give up any time soon the reason why Kenyans must be on high alert, be informed to be able to detect terrorists’ subtle approaches in executing their terror attacks.

“During previous attacks innocent citizens who are the key target group were caught unawares and due to panic, shock and lack of skills on how to take cover, escape or defend themselves, they perished in large numbers. I am optimistic that rigorous sensitization forums for the past three years have adequately equipped the general public in Nyamira and other counties with key information and skills to be on high alert all the time and readily report drastic change in behaviour of people they know for timely investigations and interventions,” the officer advised.

Mr. Njenga thanked the Dutch embassy, which has been supporting this programme, being implemented by Champions of Peace (COP) organization and urged key pillar representatives, who are key opinion influencers not to tire in talking to members of the public on terrorism issues because terrorists have not given up and they are a serious global threat and we must all concertedly work to completely defeat them.

For the past three years, representatives of key identified pillars in Nyamira have been sensitizing, and capacity building citizens on how to appropriately respond to radicalization, encourage youths to enhance the spirit of self-reliance, strengthen religious and ethnic tolerance and respect for diversity amongst Nyamira residents and above all support government’s intervention mechanisms and programmes of countering violent extremism.

By Deborah Bochere

 

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