The Government has launched a new counter-terrorism strategy as it seeks to address security challenges facing parts of the country including violent extremism.
The new approach aims at strengthening information sharing at the grassroots in regions that have been identified as hotspots for possible radicalization by members of the alshabaab militant group.
The counter-terrorism unit of the Kenya defense forces in partnership with the National counter-terrorism center is currently training a group of law enforcement officers drawn from Kilifi County on violent extremism having already conducted similar exercises in Kwale and Mombasa counties.
Colonel Harun Rashid who is the lead trainer from the counter-terrorism unit says Kenyan security agents have learnt critical lessons since the war against Al shabaab militants kicked off over 10 years ago.
Rashid says the aim is to come up with a unified approach in the fight against the terror threat in the country.
”Soon we will be coming up with more intensive training which will incorporate the national police service, KWS, and all other multi-agency security teams,” he said.
According to Kilifi county Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, terrorism remains a major threat in the country as some of the terrorists are domiciled within communities. Saburi says some youth easily fall prey to the agents who recruit terrorists and radicalise them as the county has a long shoreline.
”Our enforcement team is being trained on counter-terrorism and we are happy KDF is bringing in the knowledge to the officers so as to help in the war against terrorism,” he said.
Saburi says insecurity within parts of the coastal region has negatively affected the tourism sector that remains a mainstay of the region adding that the ongoing government programme will be critical in reviving the fortunes of local communities who have borne the brunt of increased criminality in the area.