, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Interior and Co-ordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has extended the amnesty granted to youth who had deserted Al Shabaab by two weeks.
The deadline which was to expire on Friday was meant to offer rehabilitation to youths who wished to disassociate themselves from the terror group.
While attending a public function in Emali, Makueni County, Nkaissery however declined to disclose the number of youths who had surrendered to authorities urging those who have not to take the bold step to do so.
In a statement issued last week, the government expressed its desire to counter insecurity that has rocked the country noting that many unsuspecting young men had been lured into joining terror groups and were being used to propagate their agenda.
“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,” read the statement.
The CS further urged parents whose children had fled to Somalia to report to the authorities so that they are sought and also rehabilitated to tame the violent tendencies they could have adopted.
The order was made following the April 2 Garissa university College terror attack which claimed the lives of 148 people and which Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for.
Muslim clerics had however urged the youths not to report to government officials warning them that they would be tortured, instead calling on the youths to come to them, where they will be given appropriate rehabilitation.
“Those who desert Al Shabaab should be rehabilitated, not intimidated, not to be killed, not to be taken without any reason. It is like telling them stay there, don’t come, we will kill you,” said Sheikh Mohamed Osman.
Seven top police chiefs from Garissa County were suspended this week pending a probe into possible security lapses.
A new police commander for the county and an OCPD have since been posted there.