Build Relationships to Prevent Violent Extremism

Build Relationships to Prevent Violent Extremism

Communities perceive policies as good or bad, depending on the methods of implementation and practice. Discussions around the challenges associated with the impact of violent extremism and terrorism, especially to those directly affected by attacks, is aware of the importance of security from government agencies including law enforcement. However, the process of implementation of policy and strategy serves to do more harm than good in most cases. In Kamukunji Sub-county; Nairobi, the challenges associated with returnees is real and continuously growing. The activities of suspected violent extremists are increasingly significant, necessitating the construction and revision of policy and practice in hotspot areas and around the country. However, the logic of disruption as shown by the operations including Usalama-Watch, usually assumed the role of the community in the prevention process, and police interventions avoided pursuing fully‐ fledged prosecution, and relationship building that represents a pragmatic way of preventing violent extremism.

The actions from the government as administered by the law enforcement teams over time, serve as a pointer to the never-ending link between violent extremism and the grievance narrative that has fueled the revenge in the communities. From Nairobi to Mombasa and other areas, cases of extrajudicial killing resulting to gross violations of human rights  and cases of mistaken identity,  have been reported. Though there is mixed reaction from the community  on some cases of extrajudicial killing, consensus point to the fact that this policy direction served to destroy the gains made by the state and other non-state actors in preventing violent extremism.

Various community research processes point to a community that over time; remained harassed, silent and non-responsive, leading to reduced resilience capacities and increased need for alternatives.  Even with these challenges, programs and projects in the community provide insights on areas that can ensure a prolonged and lasting impact in the prevent journey. Lessons from these programs can be used to advise policy development, and implementation, to ensure minimal blow-back and and erosion of the gains.. The policy brief documents one such program that sought to build the relationship between the community and the police to ensure ease and accuracy in information sharing, accountability in community engagement and involvement in response

Measuring Impact of CVE Efforts in Kenya: Creating a CVE Index
Policy Brief: Lessons from the Past can Impact the Future