Amnesty for youths misled to join Al Shabaab

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MAJ.GEN. (RTD) JOSEPH NKAISSERY

Over the past few years, a number of unsuspecting Kenyan youths have been lured into travelling to Somalia for purposes of receiving militia training.

The training is aimed at, among other things, instilling murderous terrorist ideology targeting fellow Kenyans and has led to senseless killing and maiming of innocent citizens.

We are aware that some of the youth were recruited by cunning individuals some of whom are terrorists masquerading as religious leaders.

And while a number of these Kenyan youth have been killed in Somalia, some have returned and are eager to disassociate themselves with the murderous Al-Shabaab ideology with some seeking refuge in neighbouring countries such as Uganda for fear of reprisals from Al-Shabaab.

Following the passage of the Security Laws Amendment Act, 2014, the government is in the process of putting in place mechanisms to rehabilitate youth who have been radicalized and those who are vulnerable to exploitation and radicalization.

The measures will include de-radicalization programme and working with the relevant Government ministries and departments to provide training and alternative source of livelihood.

In this regard, the government hereby calls upon all individuals who had gone to Somalia for training and wish to disassociate themselves with terrorism to report to the following National Government offices within the next ten (10) days: – County Commissioner Nairobi; County Commissioner Mombasa and County Commissioner Garissa, from where they will be given further directions.

Such youths may also confidentially report through the following contacts: – 0701632432, 0701632643, 0701632443 or [email protected]

In return the government will consider granting amnesty and appropriate reintegration support. However, those who fail to heed this call within the prescribed time frame will be treated as criminals living in our midst and will face the full force of the law.

Similarly, any parent or guardian whose child has either gone missing, suspects that the child has been radicalized, or suspects the child to have been killed in Somalia is also called upon to report the same.

Failure to report will lead to presumption that they are aware and condone or are party to the terrorist training with attendant criminal consequences.

(Nkaissery is the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government)

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