Eastleigh forum seeks govt support to fight extremism

Muslim leaders in Eastleigh, Nairobi, have asked the government to support a community initiative to enlighten the youth against joining extremist groups.

Local community leaders said the youth were being lured to join groups like Al-Shabaab for lack of knowledge.

They said the formation of Peace Awareness Youth group (PAY), had brought together young Muslims from the Somali community.

They said the situation had started to change and they expected the young people to keep off from terrorism activities.

“Parents are now able to take the initiative to know where their children are and what they are doing,” one of the community leaders, Ahmed Mohamed said.

He said that the PAY had organised forums for discussions on peace among youths and the dangers of joining extremist groups.

ABSENT FROM FORUMS

However, Mr Mohamed noted that the government had been absent from their forums, which have been going on for several months.

“We don’t have a government representative in this forum, who should be here to assist in educating our youths on dangers of being radicalised with extremist ideas,” he told the Sunday forum that was attended by religious and political leaders led by area county representative, Mr Osman Adow.

Human rights activist Al-Almin Kimathi was also present.

The youths, comprising both young men and women, first performed a play whose theme was “Change from Darkness to Light” that mainly focused on need to transform young people into responsible citizens.

“These groups of youths need to be tutored to have a positive focus and we can only succeed if the government could organise for them entrepreneurship programmes to give them a livelihood,” Mr Kimathi said.