Kenya Plans to Build a Separate Prison for Extremist Offenders, President Says

Kenya is planning to build a separate prison for so-called extremist offenders to prevent these individuals from spreading their views to other prisoners, according to a recent announcement from President Uhuru Kenyatta. The move marks the East African country's latest efforts to thwart domestic extremism threats following a series of attacks carried out by Somali militant group al Shabaab in recent years.
Kenyatta said the new facility would be the landing place for "violent and extremist" criminals, adding to the country's cadre of maximum security jails. While he did not name any groups or organizations specifically, al Shabaab has carried out several mass-casualty attacks in Kenya, raising fears about internal radicalization within the country's borders. 
"We will establish a new prison to hold violent, extremist offenders – the truth of the matter is that we cannot allow them to spread their poison to vulnerable Kenyans," he said in a graduation speech this week, according to Reuters.
The leader also said that rehabilitation would be integrated into the program at the prison. 
"Reforming the character of a person is extraordinarily difficult. It demands compassion, skill in discerning the character of others, and firmness," he said.

Kenyatta did not provide any timelines for the prison's building or opening. Last June, Kenyatta promised a new campaign to stop people from joining violent radical groups and to fight the influence of al Shabaab, saying conventional policing methods would not be enough to tackle the threat from radicalized men and women.
Kenya's boosted efforts against radicalization were sparked by a series of attacks in 2014 and 2015 waged by al Shabaab. The deadliest occurred in April when several gunman waged an hours-long siege on Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya, killing 148 people.
In the months before the Garissa attack, several incidents had heightened fears in that part of the country, including a bus attack where members of the militant group shot and killed 28 people when they could not say verses from the Quaran.
Some of the gunmen involved in the biggest attacks on Kenyan soil in recent years, including the attack on Garissa University, were Kenyan citizens who had joined al Shabaab.
Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab has staged a string of attacks in Somalia and surrounding countries aimed at imposing its harsh brand of Islam and overthrowing the Somali government, which is backed by Western donors and African peacekeepers.

Attack from the militants increased starting in late 2011, sparked by Kenya's decision to send troops across the border in Somalia. The incursion was meant to weaken al Shabaab's ability to launch cross-border strikes, but the efforts backfired and caused an escalation of violence in Kenya. 
The government subsequently used this to justify a ramped up counter-terrorism campaign that has been subject to allegations of extrajudicial activity and human rights violations. Meanwhile, the Somali's living in Kenya — who account for the majority of the population in the northeast — have increasingly fallen victim to discrimination as terrorism concerns become an increasingly pressing issue in the country.



Popular posts from this blog

How a cyber attack hampered Hong Kong protesters

‘Not Hospital, Al-Shifa is Hamas Hideout & HQ in Gaza’: Israel Releases ‘Terrorists’ Confessions’ | Exclusive

Former FARC guerrilla, Colombian cop pose naked together to promote peace deal