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Gov't extends amnesty to radical youth

30 August 2015, 06:58

Nairobi - The government on Saturday extended an amnesty to radical youth who joined Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, who did not provide the duration of amnesty, instructed security agencies not to harass the youth willing to abandon the militant group which has waged a series of attacks in the nation.

"I have instructed security agents not to harass the youth willing to surrender. They should be rehabilitated and allowed to interact with community," Nkaissery told journalists in Mombasa.

The amnesty is among various measures the government has devised to address growing terror threats in the country

Nkaissery said substantial number of Al-Shabaab returnees have surrendered since the government announced the amnesty in April after the Garissa University attack that claimed 148 lives.

He said the youth who joined the terror group for training and wish to disassociate themselves with terrorism should report to the government offices. The government said those who surrender themselves to the government will be treated in dignified manner.

Read Also: Kenya searches for female Shabaab operative

Nkaisery has also ordered the investigation over alleged forceful disappearance of Kenyan youth, especially in the coastal city of Mombasa, linked to the terrorism group.

According to security agents, over 200 youth alleged to have links to Al-Shabaab cannot be traced. The youth were arrested when police raided the Minaa, Swafaa, Musa and Sakina mosques in September 2014 in an anti-terrorism crackdown.

Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa confirmed that some of the youth were missing. The parents have accused security agents of being behind the alleged extrajudicial killings of youths.

Nkaissery said a team has been appointed to investigate the claims.

"We want to get to the bottom of these allegations and I have directed the security agents to investigate the allegations and tell Kenyans the truth," said Nkaissery.

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- Xinhua


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