UK to partner with Kenya in fight against Terrorism and Youth radicalization

The UK is working with the Kenya political establishment to curb terror threats and radicalization in the regions of Mombasa and North Eastern Kenya,  British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey has said.

“We have just had a very interesting and open discussion about a shared threat of terrorism and extremism where young people are radicalized and drawn into the web of evil groups who, with a perverted ideology, turn towards violence.

Hailey made a remarks following a meeting with Kenya Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa.

“This is a threat we face in the UK with our own young people and it is also here in Kenya. It is a threat that we face together. The UK is more secure when Kenya is more secure. That is why we work together,” Mr Hailey said.

Unemployment, poverty and political marginalization are contributing to the Islamic radicalization of Kenya’s youth, a situation experts say must be addressed through economic empowerment and inclusive policies.

A string of grenade attacks – some allegedly by Somali Islamist insurgent group Al-Shabab or their sympathizers – have occurred in the Kenyan towns of Garissa, Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi, since Kenya began its military incursion in Somalia in October 2011.

“Further down at the Coast, I’m very acutely aware of the importance of tourism to jobs for young people, to the economy and future of so many in this region and I am proud that the UK remains Kenya’s top source of international tourists,” Hailey said.

He said through a UK-sponsored youth employment programme in Mombasa, 5,000 jobs had already been created and a further 8,000 youths trained and are ready to go to the market.

Hailey said security challenges are not only addressed by arresting the right people but also looking out for those who look disconnected.