NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – Interior Principal Secretary Monica Juma says the ongoing counter terrorism programme being developed by the government must involve all people for the menace to be exclusively eliminated.
Juma specifically says democracy should not be used an excuse to advance liberties that perpetuate terror.
In a speech read by the Permanent Representative to UN office at Nairobi Dr Martin Kimani during the launch of a security symposium on counter terrorism in Kenya, Juma called on the Judiciary to help define what should be regarded as human rights when dealing with terror.
“The very first thing about the terrorist narrative and ideology is a rejection of pluralism, a rejection of the idea that there can be a free government in terms of how the society is governed, a rejection of free speech and certainly a rejection in the empowerment of women, the way Kenya has decided to go,” she emphasised.
The embattled PS specifically pointed out that social media was increasingly being used by terror groups to radicalise and recruit members.
“That is the space of free speech, free communication, free association…it is precisely the space they use to radicalize and operate within the society,” he said.
She went further to explain that, “If you are able to arrest one of them (terrorist) who is in a process of carrying out an attack, they have the full right to partake of our legal system which is guided again by the idea of protection to human rights.”
If the Judiciary is not aware, it is very easy for it to have the vulnerability of allowing them off for them to continue their plan.”
The two-day forum is being attended by senior security chiefs, human rights activists and religious leaders among other security players.
Former Chief of Defence Forces General (Rtd) Jeremiah Kianga on his part said the government must reinforce the Kenyan narrative against that of Al- Shabaab in the war against terror.
“It is the terrorists who are against our narrative…the Kenyan narrative. We should not counter their narrative but instead we should reinforce what we believe in,” he stated.
Kianga challenged Kenyans to jealously guard the country’s sovereignty while warning that the terrorist would like to see a divided nation.
He said Kenya must also come up with ‘smart’ ways of tackling with the challenge since the terrorist keep on learning new techniques.
“This way, we shall expose the terrorist for what he is,” he said.
The government has since launched a major de-radicalization programme targeting the youths in vulnerable regions like Mombasa, Northern Kenya and parts of Nairobi.
Terror has remained a major threat to the National Security originating from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militia.
The militia attributes the consistent attacks, which have shifted to soft targets like churches and institutions to the continued presence of the Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia.
The Kenyan army has destabilised the operations of the group since it captured the Kismayu port; their operating ground and a major source of income.
Recently, the group suffered a major blow after its botched terror attack to a Lamu military base that saw 15 of their members and a key player killed.
The government has vowed to continue with their incursions on the rag tag militia group which President Uhuru Kenyatta has since declared that it has lost its ground.