By Abdikadir Omar Aden
The war against terror cannot be won without the participation and support of the communities in the areas most affected. Developed countries experienced in fighting terror will tell you that the trick in overcoming terrorism is in the wining of the hearts and minds of the local communities in which they hide. There are many examples including that of the UK in crashing the Northern Ireland terrorist attacks. The other example is Spain in its fight against the terrorist attacks in the name of separatist movement.
The continued abduction of people by unidentified contingents of the government security agencies and reported cases of extrajudicial killings together with blanket dusk to dawn curfew will continue to isolate the native Somali communities in the NEP Kenyan.
The People of NEP are themselves victims of terror with many killed and many more terrified by the horrific acts of terror happening at their door steps.
During the NEP leaders’ tour of the whole region sensitizing the public to work closely with security agencies and their leadership, I was really encouraged by the willingness and determination of our people in Joining hands as one nation in defeating this threat. The people are ready to support all initiatives aimed at unmasking and arresting all the evil elements hiding within the society. But this must be done within the law!
Any suspected terrorist should be arrested and brought to court and charged. Any other draconian means could scare the public and erode their good will on the government security.
I was confronted by an elderly lady in Garissa this weekend who asked me a fundamental question “Why would a government behavior like the very enemies (terrorist) they are trying to fight by creating fear amongst the people because of the abductions and extrajudicial killings when they have all the laws to lawfully arrest any suspect and even sentence him/her to death?”… I honestly had no answer for this senior citizen.
The government must stop scaring the people of NEP and subjecting them to blanket punishment.
The curfew and the abductions must come to an end.
Hon. Abdikadir is the Member of Parliament for Balambala, Garissa County.