Somali forces killed six al-Shabaab fighters in late January, but not before the terrorists bombed the office of Mogadishu’s mayor, stormed a government facility, killed at least five civilians and injured at least 16 more.
Most of the attacks were concentrated near Kenya’s border with Somalia, the report said. The attacks mostly targeted security vehicles, some villages, and port and road projects.
“While security officials and counter-terror bodies in the country are to be commended for the increased measures put in place to counter violent extremism in Kenya, the Observatory data shows that al-Shabaab continues to pose a threat as the frequency of terror-related attacks has increased over the year, largely targeting security officials primarily on transit or on patrol by the use of various explosive devices,” CHRIPS researcher Rahma Ramadhan said.
The most recent UNDP report indicates that military efforts alone are not enough to defeat extremism.
“Security-driven counter-terrorism responses are often costly and minimally effective, yet investments in preventive approaches to violent extremism are woefully inadequate,” Steiner said. “The social contract between states and citizens must be reinvigorated to tackle root causes of violent extremism.”
The report argues that a new approach to stemming extremist violence should aim to understand the complex ways violent extremist groups recruit or intimidate civilians as they act as alternatives to state authority.
That knowledge may help stakeholders work with local and national governments to ensure that people have access to the rights, goods and services they need to lead prosperous lives.
Transitional justice, the process of responding to human rights violations through judicial improvements and political reform, is critical to rebuilding inclusive states in the context of extremist violence, said
Amanda Lucey, a senior project leader at the
Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, a South African think tank.
Lucey agreed that systemic state failure, limited economic opportunity, marginalization and discrimination all led to the rise of extremist violence groups in Africa, specifically the radicalization of young people.
“This requires a shift in policy thinking, from a greater emphasis on the individual towards the collective and structural conditions that give rise to violence, and an understanding that radicalization may emerge from the absence of alternatives in which to engage the State,” Lucey wrote on South African news website news24.com.