A few days ago, East Africa and the entire globe came to a shockwave as our immediate neighbors, Kenya were attacked and terrorized by the furious inhuman Islamists; the al-shabab which by translation means ‘the youth’. This occurred at a hotel in the heart of Nairobi called Dusit D2 hotel where about 20 Kenyans lost their lives.
This attack wasn’t the first of its kind in Kenya. In 1980, the Jewish owned Norfolk Hotel was attacked by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). In 1998, the US embassy in Nairobi was bombarded and in 2002 the Israel owned Paradise Hotel was also bombed. Additionally, in 2013, al-shabab did the worst to Kenya and humanity when they attacked the famous West Gate Mall killing 67 people.
Kenya isn’t the only victim of terrorism. On 11th July 2010, the infamous al-shabab claimed responsibility for the Lugogo and Kabalagala attacks when the entire world was on screens watching the then world cup finals, 74 lives perished as 71 got injured.
Let’s gaze at world super powers, the United States of America. On 9/11 2001, the al-qaeda attacked and bombed the Twin tower where 2996 people died and over 6000 were injured, causing $10bn infrastructure and property damage. This enormousness of effect served as a wakeup call to the world in the fight against terrorism.
One would get marveled on who these terrorists are and who is responsible for their actions? I can modestly say; these terrorists are human beings with whom we share analogous physiology and morphological features. Indeed, they are sons and daughters of our parents/guardians if not our relatives.
While watching Aljazeera recently, they ran news signifying that one of the terrorists for the Dusit D2 hotel complex was born and raised in Kenya! Furthermore, a Ugandan local Daily of 20th January 2019 published a story affirming that the master minder of the Dusit D2 Hotel complex was trained in Uganda! Is this surprising?
How does one become a terrorist then?
Development of terrorism can be rooted from the way a child is fostered and their general upbringing.
Referring to a typical home setting, some homes children proper upbringing is not a priority, no morals and indeed bear no respect for humanity, the quality of the child is left to God
Additionally, the effect of media can’t be under looked. In some homes, children are left to watch action movies and indeed would love to practice what they watch.
To make matters worse, the socio-economic status of our typical African rural setting is characterized by poverty manifested in limited options for livelihood meaning that a few of the children will have an to complete school or even manage to startup small scale business.
All these situations create a pool of heartless immoral youths engulfed in drug abuse, robbery and all sorts of idle man’s activities. Such can ably favor any potential terrorism recruiting agent.
An interested terrorist comes with heavenly promises of money, and for al-shabab, they compliment such with sweet Islamic preachings–beautiful women are in heaven. Without compromise, an idle youth will not be spared.
Government of Uganda has made its position clear on the fight against terrorism through its cross-border participation in the pacification of terrorism dominated countries, notably Somalia. Since 2007 a number of UPDF groups have continuously been sent for the peace keeping missions in Somalia with hope of regaining sanity in the Horn of Africa.
Intra-border security is too worth treasured and indeed not at any one time will the security of our country give chance to any intruder with insecurity interest. This is aided by a high degree of surveillance, backed by high class internal and external intelligence
Therefore, as government satisfies its mandate, the obligation goes to families to responsibly nurture children who are morally upright with grains of respect for humanity, married with improved household livelihood, there will not be room for seeds of terrorism.
Finally, as we venerate the Liberation day on 26th January, it’s a requirement to bear in mind that the fight against terrorism starts from within ourselves; know the kind of child you bring up, how they behave and treat fellow mankind without forgetting to understand your friends and neighbors and all the people around you.
The fight against terrorism isn’t solely for government but for all of us.
Happy Liberation Day
Mr Bahikire Daraus works as a Communications Officer for Government Citizens Interaction Centre (GCIC) at Ministry of ICT & National Guidance.