NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – Kenya is set to hold a regional conference on countering violent extremism next month.
Speaking during a meeting with members of the diplomatic corp, Interior Principal Secretary Monica Juma said 25 countries in Africa and 16 from other parts of the world had been invited to attend the three-day conference that starts on June 25 to June 27.
“For the last four weeks a team has been working towards the preparation of this meeting. We have dispatched invitations to Africa and the rest of the world,” she said.
The delegates who include experts in the field of combating terrorism and extremism will explore avenues that can be employed to address radicalisation and other tenets associated with terrorism.
According to Juma, the conference is extremely relevant to Kenya in the wake of continuing and increasing terrorism threats and attacks.
Of concern to Kenya, she said, were the increasing levels of recruitment, radicalisation and execution of attacks which robs the country its people and instil permanent injuries on survivors.
Kenya has experienced a series of attacks with the latest major one being the Garissa University attack that left 148 people dead.
The conference which is a follow up to the White House Summit held in February is also imperative to explore new approaches that can be employed by Kenya and also other countries affected by terrorism.
Juma explained that the discussions will also explore signs that locals can observe to help in identification of people working with terror groups.
In her view, creating awareness through a comprehensive approach will be important in the fight against extremism and other tenets associated with terrorism.
The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Eng. Karanja Kibicho further explained that the conference will also be seeking for ways of dealing with the ‘radicalized groups, candidates, those in combat gear and also those who surrender.’
For Kenya to counter violent extremism, Kibicho explained, clustering the groups and designing ways of dealing with each one of them is an appropriate way that will also be subject of discussion during the conference.
Though Kenya is grappling with a situation that is beyond the technology, the government believed the war against terrorism would not be lost.
In the midst of the attacks, the government said the untold stories include the myriad times that the security forces managed to halt other attacks.
While admitting terrorism has posed major challenges, the officials believed partnerships between the government, NGOs, Civil Society, the media, the citizens and the international community were crucial.
Those interested in the conference can access more details on www.cveconference.org