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NCTC urges Kenyans to speak out against violent extremism

Rosalind Nyawira is the Director of Kenya's National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). Photo/Courtesy

The National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) on Monday called on Kenyans to play an active role in efforts aimed at promoting peaceful co-existence and tolerance within communities to safeguard Kenya’s social and democratic fabric from the threat of violent extremism (VE).

While taking stock of the achievements made as the world marks International Day of Preventing Violent Extremism, the agency Center noted that Kenya has in the past been impacted by violent extremism manifesting through acts of terrorism.

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“Today is a day to reflect on ways to prevent the spread of radical ideologies that preach intolerance, hate, and violence in our society. This requires each one of us to be vigilant against attempts to sow discord to justify extremist violence, terrorism, and other threats to national security,” NCTC said in a statement

The Center reiterated that while the State has the primary responsibility of fighting terrorism, the all and sundry must reject violent extremism, that gives rise to terrorism, from taking root in society. It says the move is also crucial to disrupting the ability of terrorists to recruit followers.

According to NCTC, greater involvement of communities and community-based groups in preventing and countering terrorism has resulted in enhanced vigilance, especially in areas considered more vulnerable to terror attacks.

“A key milestone in Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism (PCVE) has been rallying a diverse array of State and non-state actors in identifying and dealing with the factors driving VE in Kenya,”

“There is also now greater public awareness of the dangers of radicalization, with parents, teachers, and caregivers being sensitized on how to look out for online recruitment of children and youth by terrorist networks,” said the agency

NCTC says the national prevention strategy has been successfully cascaded to the counties, with the 47 devolved units at various stages of formulating and enforcing policies and laws targeting extremism at the community level.

Working with State and non-state actors, NCTC has since 2016 been the lead agency in the implementation of the National Strategy on Countering Violent Extremism (NSCVE), which advocates for an all-of-society approach in eliminating extremism. The strategy is currently undergoing review to align it with prevailing realities and ensure sustained responsiveness to the evolving threat of terrorism.

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