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85 youths heed amnesty to quit terror groups

Kenyan soldiers from AMISOM walk along the sandy beaches in Kismayu in pursuit of Al Shabaab militia/XINHUA-File

Kenyan soldiers from AMISOM walk along the sandy beaches in Kismayu in pursuit of Al Shabaab militia/XINHUA-File

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – The Interior Ministry on Friday said 85 youths had surrendered following the amnesty offered by the government to Kenyans who have joined terror groups.

Interior Spokesperson Mwenda Njoka told Capital FM News that most of the youths who surrendered had joined the Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab terror group in Somalia.

“So far from the time the amnesty was given up to now, we have had 85 people surrendering, and they are going rehabilitation and counselling. These are the people who had joined Al Shabaab in Somalia and they are from all parts of the country,” he said.

The amnesty was offered by Interior Cabinet Minister Joseph Nkaissery after the Garissa University attack that claimed 148 lives, mostly students.

On April 24, Nkaissery extended the amnesty period for the youths to surrender from the terror group.

READ: Nkaissery extends amnesty for Shabaab youths by 2 weeks

On Friday, Njoka explained that the government had put in place an elaborate comprehensive integration programme to absorb those who had surrendered.

The programme has a group of experts who are also offering psychological support to the youth to help them re-integrate in the society.

“The programme is also meant to give them counselling and rehabilitate them. It is being done by professional counsellors with the support of security agencies and also external and friendly partners,” he explained.

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho also said amnesty included Kenyans who had fled the country including the two girls from South C who are said to have moved to Syria to join IS.

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He said the girls will be brought back and endorsed in the integration programme already in place.

“Those are not the only girls, there are those two we know but there are many others we don’t know. But they are Kenyans and we have a complete programme to reintegrate them back. The girls will be back,” he said.

In an opinion piece, Nkaissery expressed concerns over the number of youths who had travelled to Somalia to receive military training and ended up joining terror groups.

READ: Amnesty for youths misled to join Al Shabaab

He announced a de-redicalization programme which was targeted at youths who surrendered from terrorism and related activities.

He also urged them to confidentially report through the following contacts: – 0701632432, 0701632643, 0701632443 or

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