Lamu elders want Kenya government to resort to dialogue with Al-shaabab terror group in order to effectively combat terrorism in Lamu and in the country in general, saying Lamu county in particular has suffered enough.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday in Lamu town, the elders appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop using military force in trying to fight the Alshabaab militia .
They said it was high time the government engaged the terror group in constructive dialogue since all other means being employed in the fight against terrorism in the country seemed not to be working and were taking too long to achieve the desired result.
The elders asked the president to form a committee consisting of all Somali elders and leaders in the country and have them hold peace talks with the terror group in order for peace and calm to be restored along borderlines between kenya and Somalia.
The elders proposed that the committee should also be representative of elders from Kenya’s disturbed borderlines including Garissa, Wajir, Mandera and Lamu.
They said it would be impossible for peace to be achieved using guns and other warfare from both sides.
“Guns never solve anything. Our president should noe think of dialoguing with the Alshabaab. Peace talks can work you know. Terrorism is just an ideology that makes people turn against each other. That can always be changed through talks and motivation. Let there be a committee of Somali leaders and elders that will go and talk with these terrorists so that we achieve peace once and for all,” said Alwy.
Alwy added that it was highly probable that through sensitive dialogue, the Al-shabaab can easily be turned from foes to friends on Kenya.
“We have been using military force for as long as anyone can recall but they keep doing their evil. We keep losing lives and property. It’s time to give wise diplomacy a try. We can actually succeed and have these terrorists on our side even protecting our borders” said Alwy.
The elders said the talks would also wash out the habit of radicalization of the Kenyan youth and their subsequent recruitment into terror groups.
“As we seek ways to restore peace and calm, let the government not forget that the main trigger for radicalization is rampant unemployment among the youth. As we give them amnesty, also give them a chance to a decent employment to keep them occupied and productive” Added Mohamed Mbwana , an elder .
They referred to Nigeria, where the Nigerian Government has resorted to dialogue with Boko Haram terror group in order to restore peace in the country.