Why Mt Kenya Youth Are Joining Al Shabaab - Mutahi Ngunyi
Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi on Sunday has given an explanation on why Mt Kenya youth are joining Al Shabaab.
Through his weekly show, The 5th Estate, Mutahi pointed out three things that he believes are the reason behind radicalization of Kenyans into the terror groups.
Noting that two out of the five terrorists at the Dusit D2 Hotel attack were from Kiambu and Nyeri, the political analyst pointed out that a cultural vacuum in the communities could be the greatest motivation.
First, Mutahi pointed out that the youth naturally crave for a sense of belonging - a role previously fulfilled by recruitment into the guided community age-groups.
"Minority evil is organized. Majority good is disorganized," Mutahi noted indicating that the organized crime is likely to lure more fans than the disorganized societal structures.
Recounting the combative energy of the youth after the Mau Mau war came to an end, Mutahi noted how the President Jomo Kenyatta had to channel the national vibrancy constructively by instituting the National Youth Service (NYS).
Secondly, Mutahi opined that there was a general sense of desperation among the Kenyan youth due to lack of meaningful employment.
In his view, terror gangs hence pose a lucrative alternative to this desperation both by providing meaningful engagement and through economic gains received.
"Our young people are not interested in jobs for jobs' sake. They want something to believe in. Something to die for. And if we cannot give it to them, Al Shabaab and others will offer it. Its that simple," he quipped.
Mutahi finally pointed out that the youth could equally be persuaded by the recent government-led demolitions stating: "If you feed our youth with images of destruction; they will feed you with images of terror".
Indicating that the Law of Attraction dictates that negative actions attract negative energy, Mutahi noted of a peculiar development in the 14 Riverside attack - the presence of a suicide bomber.
He pointed that this was the first suicide bomb attack scene in Kenyan terror history but could easily mark the onset of a new era in the terrorist attacks.
"This is how Kikuyu's became terrorists and a Kisii girl an Al Shabaab bride. But there is one more thing, if we do not address the youth crisis, we could attract local bombers willing to end their 'useless' lives for nothing like Boko Haram," the columnist cautioned.
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