Kwale Kenya, February 27; 2017: In unprecedented move, more than 400 participants converged today at Kenya School of Government, Matuga, to witness the official launch of Kwale County Plan of Action to Counter Violent Extremism. The first ever County Plan to be launched in Kenya, will help coordinate multi-stakeholders’ efforts and approaches expended towards preventing, countering and displacing radicalization and violent extremism in Kwale County.
Speaking during the official launch of the Plan of Action, Ambassador Martin Kimani, Kenya’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Special Envoy and Director, National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), noted that the development of the Kwale CVE Plan is a major boost in winning the war against violent extremism in the County. He said that the government will provide the necessary framework and support to help Counties develop Plans that speak to their unique security challenges. “One of the critical areas that we must built on this strategy is how to reintegrate returnees and the de- radicalized youth in our society. As a government, we therefore need your support to ensure we effectively protect our youth against ideologies that lead to acts of radicalization and violent extremism”, he explained.
Applauding the efforts of stakeholders who worked towards the realization of the County CVE Action Plan, H.E. Hon.Salim Mvurya, Governor, Kwale County, said the Plan marks a defining moment for his government in the fight against violent extremism; a county which is known to harbor youth who are believed to be in contact with or likely to be lured into joining terror groups such as Al Shabaab in Somalia. The Governor added that Kwale County has suffered enormous economic loss, especially in tourism sector that is a source of livelihood to thousands of the county residents.
The U.S Ambassador to Kenya H.E Robert F. Godec said his government and the American people will remain a critical partner to the Kenyan government in the fight against violent extremism. He called on the government particularly county governments to ensure they work hand in hand with civil society and communities to make Kenya a safe haven for present and future generations.
H.E. Mette Knudsen, the Royal Danish Ambassador to Kenya called for close collaboration between the various government agencies and non state actors to improve security situation in the country. She urged security agencies to create favorable conditions in order to win community trust and enhance information sharing; crucial to winning the war against violent extremism.
Acknowledging the support of USAID and Royal Danish Government, Anne Nyabera, Executive Director, Act!, said the development of the new action plan will help improve counter radicalization approaches compared to the traditional security approaches. She called for involvement of women and youth in the implementation of the Plan.
The Action Plan was developed through an extensive consultative process involving national and county government agencies, religious leaders and civil society; borrows heavily from the nine pillars of the National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism. The Strategy highlights the psycho-social aspects and ideological issues that make youth join terror groups. It also details strategies that state and non-state actors can use to effectively deal with violent extremism in Kenya.
The development of the Kwale County CVE Action Plan was supported through USAID’s Strengthening Community Resilience against Extremism (SCORE) Activity and the Peace, Security and Stability Program funded by the Royal Danish Government.