Give youth jobs to end radicalisation, state told

Seven-member youth group formed to counter al Shabaab in the region using social media

In Summary

• Leaders say young people join terror groups because of lack of jobs

• Only way to reduce this is by engaging them in meaningful activities

Wajir west MP Ahmed Kolosh
APPEAL: Wajir west MP Ahmed Kolosh

The national government should do more to create jobs for young people in Northeastern, two MPs have said.

Ahmed Kolosh of Wajir West and his Wajir North counterpart Ahmed Abdisalan said young people resort to desperate measures, including joining terror groups, because of lack of jobs.

He spoke in Wajir during a meeting with a seven-member youth group formed by Equal Access International to counter al Shabaab in the region using social media.

The seven-member youth group from Garissa county called Peace Promoters  targets youth in Eastleigh, Garissa and Wajir. 

Abdisalan said if the issue is not addressed urgently, then it would end up having far-reaching effects on the country.

“I'm not in any way justifying their actions which are not good, but there is nothing as bad as a having an idle but educated youth," Abdisalan said. 

"This is one person who can easily be convinced to join this criminal grouping not because he or she likes it but because they want to make ends meet.” 

He said the government should think of coming up with an affirmative action so that educated youth who have the necessary qualifications are given special consideration when it comes to jobs.

Kolosh said employment in the area is low compared to other parts of the region.

“The only way to reduce the infiltration of our youth into this terror group is by engaging our youth and having their minds occupied. It is a home-grown problem that requires a home-grown solution,” he said.

Wajir North MP Ahmed Abdisalan
DESPERATION: Wajir North MP Ahmed Abdisalan

Equal Access International’s country director Abdirashid Abdullahi said the aim is to build community resilience in the face of terror that has become a nightmare for border communities.

Abdullahi said services in far-flung areas have been compromised by al Shaabab militants since non-locals cannot risk their lives by working there.

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