The Busia County Commissioner (CC), Jacob Narengo has urged all the state and non-state actors to mainstream countering violent extremism agenda in all their activities.
Speaking during County engagement forum in Busia, Narengo said the initiative will help address the challenges of radicalization in the region.
“Religious leaders should also sensitize their flock on the need for security,” he said, adding that without security, it will be difficult for the faithful to access places of worship.
He challenged the local gender officer to organize for a youth forum, with a view to sensitizing the youth on the dangers of radicalization, adding that they are the main target.
The CC also reminded all the Deputy County Commissioners to profile all bar owners, cyber business people and fishermen within their areas of jurisdiction, adding that beaches along the Lake have been turned into landing grounds for contraband goods.
Narengo further reminded all landlords to keep details of all their tenants explaining that it is an offense to operate without such details.
The Champion of Peace Programme Director, Elly Opondo urged governors to support countering violent extremism activities, adding that any terrorist attack will affect them directly.
“It is very surprising that governors do not support such programmes but only react when local residents have been affected,” he said. Opondo implored the county leaders to change the mindset and support measures being put in place to prevent terrorist acts.
“We need to profile schools and cyber cafes in all Sub Counties because they are fertile grounds for recruiting youth for radicalization,” he said.
He reiterated that civil society organizations should mainstream youth in all their activities, adding that they are the most targeted.
“We have a bunch of University graduates who are desperately looking for jobs,” he said, adding that such youth can easily be lured by human traffickers.
The Busia County Vice Chairperson for the Non-Governmental Organizations, Hellen Mukanda urged her counterparts to mobilize resources with a view to supporting countering violent extremism Agenda.
Mukanda noted that some NGOs are already supporting the reintegration of radicalized youth and managed to take them back to school.
The Busia County Chairman of Boda boda Operators, Isaac Obwolo blamed the difficult economic times for driving youth into criminal activities.
Obwolo pointed out most operators are so impoverished to the level that they cannot acquire driving licenses and insurance documents.
“We need to put our heads to chart a way forward on how to help them because they can be the major contributors to our economy,” he said.
The forum brought together religious leaders, civil society representatives, security officers, and education officials to deliberate on the Busia County Action Plan on Countering Violent Extremism.
By Salome Alwanda