Poor parenting and the rise in unchecked social media usage among youths has been blamed for the rise in terrorism recruitment in Lamu.
Parents have been blamed for giving their children a free reign over the use of social media with most parents not knowing that terror cells have adopted the social media as a recruitment tool.
Speaking in Lamu during a Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) forum held at Mwanarafa hall, Dr. Mjaid Athman, a consultant with Kiunga Youth Bunge observed that the as much as the national government had played its part to stamp out proscribed groups from gaining a foothold in Lamu, proper parenting has a role to play in countering violent extremism CVE among youth.
“Continuous research shows that Kenya still has a long way to go in CVE eradication, despite the adoption of the Nyumba Kumi Initiative being hailed as a success because terror groups are adapting new ways in which to embed themselves into the society,” the scholar stated.
He further noted that, parents need to be aware of their children’s social media activities, adding that terror cells have adapted social media websites as recruiting grounds for new followers.
“Parents need to be wary of their children’s activities on social media, like what sites are they visiting, take note of the YouTube channels they are accessing,” Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri stated.
He said that the national government was doing its part to ensure the safety of all Lamu residents and the country’s Lamu border, hailing the Operation Linda Boni as a success for securing the county.
“We need to take note that since the counter violent extremist initiative by the government Operation Linda Boni being adopted, there has been a marked reduction of terror attacks in Lamu County,” Deputy County Commissioner David Lusava stated.
He further urged members of the public to be more forthcoming with information that will prevent terror attacks in future.
“Terrorism has no place in Lamu, and it is wrong to assume that all Muslims are terrorists, despite the perception that has been portrayed in the media,” Famau Abedinho, a Counter Violence Extremism activist stated.
Famau also noted that the lack of employment opportunities and drug abuse had been a strong allure for youths to join proscribed groups which today is not the case due to increased employment opportunities.
By Hawa Njenga and Amenya Ochieng