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More radicalized youths surrender to authorities

A total of 85 youth who had been radicalized for violent extremism have so far surrendered to the authorities since the beginning of the amnesty announced by the Ministry of Interior.

The ministry on Friday said the youth, are currently under safe rehabilitation under a programme that is run by the National Counter Terrorism Centre.

The Interior Ministry spokesperson, Mwenda Njoka said although the amnesty for radicalized youth had expired, the ministry was still pardoning the youth who surrender voluntarily to the authorities.

“To have 85 youth who were capable of extremism surrender is an achievement not only for the ministry but for the whole country,” Mr Njoka said.

Although Mr Njoka declined to reveal where the youth were being kept for safety reasons, he said the National Counter Terrorism Centre would try and understand what drove the youth to their position and try and point out ways of empowering them.

GARISSA ATTACK

A week after the April 2 Garissa Attack that led to the death of 147 people, the Interior Ministry announced a ten-day amnesty for radicalized youth who would surrender to authorities.

On April 24, Interior Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Nkaiserry extended the amnesty period by 14 days saying the ministry expected more youth to surrender.

Mr Nkaiserry has since been asking parents and families who have missing children and are suspected to have crossed over to Somalia or are being radicalized in the country, to report to the police to help track them down.

Kenya has recently suffered the brunt of terrorism with the Interior Ministry expressing concern that the extremists were now targeting areas that have for long been perceived as safe and protected like the refugee camps, the mosques, prisons, schools and institutions.

On Friday Interior Principal Secretary, Monica Juma said the country is vulnerable to terror attacks because it shares a border with Somalia which has experienced infiltration by the Al Shabaab.