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Why would radicalized youth surrender to the government?

15 April 2015, 15:06 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Radicalized youth are just that, radicalized and would likely not surrender to police for several reasons.

According to experts, radicalization is a two way street. There is the interest from the terrorists to recruit but there is also the fact that the person being radicalized has a taste for making the move.

To take up arms means that the person in question either has been in contact with the recruiting body or personnel and has been in touch with the said persons.

That would mean that in the case the person does decide not to take up arms, they can easily compromise the whole operation.

Which is why security experts feel that the order by the government, which has offered a ten day amnesty for youth who may have been trained by the Al Shabaab to surrender or be hunted down as criminals will likely not have much effect.

Interior cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaissery has ordered that anyone willing to take this offer should report to county commissioners in Nairobi, Mombasa or Garissa.

Why would they? we asked two security experts why a person already agreed to take arms might decide to surrender to the government, or not.

Samuel Njihia, security expert.

" It is likely that a person who will surrender to the government was either forced into the whole process or got a raw deal," he says.

" Considering that there might be financial pledges made to the persons, or other promises, they might choose to turn back on the agreement because they were maybe duped."

" Also, maybe they might not agree with what the terrorists are doing or their methods, which is highly unlikely," he adds.

Robert Kiplangat, security expert.

" It is unlikely in my view that many will come forward for a number of reasons."

" First, they will likely be tortured by police to eek out more information from them regarding the terrorists, their place of training and such. Who will want to go through that?"

" Also, those that come forward will be under threat from Shabaab operatives for selling them out. They will likely put themselves and their families under threat because will the government protect them?"

" Lastly, I just feel that if we consider the case of the Garissa terrorist, the radicalists target individuals who they know will not let them down in the heat of the moment. Such characters are likely not to revert to type," he feels.

What are your thoughts?

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