Devolved units urged to join war on youth extremism

Patricia Crosby

Patricia Crosby, the Programme Manager of Institute for Strategic Dialogue in the UK speaks in Nakuru town during the inter-counties preventing and countering violent forum on November 26, 2020.

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • County bosses urged to incorporate action plans into their integrated development plans.
  • Nakuru forum noted that youth extremism undermines national values and rule of law.

Civil society stakeholders, national and county government representatives want devolved units to set up directorates on prevention and countering extremism among the youth.

The representatives drawn from 11 counties of Nairobi, Nakuru, Isiolo, Kwale, Mandera, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Lamu, Mombasa, Kakamega and Kilifi spoke at the end of the inter-counties preventing and countering violent extremism forum in Nakuru town on Thursday.

At the same time, the forum urged the county bosses to ensure that all counties incorporate action plans into their integrated development plans, annual development plans and other sectoral and fiscal plans.

"The Council of Governors should ensure that the roles of governors in the county action plans are clearly spelt out and work closely with the county commissioners as co-chairpersons of such directorates," read the joint statement.

The forum, which was sponsored by Strong Cities Network and Midrift Hurinet, also called upon governors to second officers to county engagement forums and present annual status of CAPs implementation report to the county assemblies.

The county assemblies, according to the forum, should also legislate the necessary legal framework to support the implementation of CAPs.

In a bid to reduce radicalization and violent extremism, the forum proposed that national government agencies such as Uwezo, Youth Enterprise Development, Women Enterprise, National Government Affirmative Action and other social development funds should support efforts to address youth extremism.

Midrift Hurinet Executive Director Joseph Omondi warned that unless the country seizes the opportunity and address the youth extremism, the country will pay dearly.

Time bomb

"If we don't do address the youth extremism there will be economic, social and political consequences which are dangerous to our country," said Mr Omondi.

The forum also wants MPs and senators to amend the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) to support the implementation of county action plans.

"For the first time in our country youth extremism is increasingly becoming a time bomb that could explode anytime if we fail to address their issues," said Mr Omondi.

The forum noted that youth extremism undermines national values and rule of law.

"Despite national government efforts to address this problem, there still exist some significant gaps that need to be addressed to fully and effectively implement county action plans," concluded the statement.

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