US government to fund Kenya in fight against violent extremism

US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Kwale, KENYA: The American government has promised to offer sh 2.4 billion to help facilitate programs of countering violent extremism in the country.

US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said the fund will also help in such programs especially in Kwale county, which is said to be worst affected by extremism activities.

Speaking in Matuga during the launch of Kwale county action plan on countering violent extremism, Amb. Godec said their efforts in Kwale county not only targets the drivers of violent extremism, but strengthening community resilience and building shared knowledge in county level.

The envoy applauded Kenyan government and county government for the efforts taken to fight violent extremism, and noted that radicals such as Alshabab and ISIS have imposed a lot of suffering among Kenyans.

He added the people of United States of America stand with the Kenyan government to fight the problem, but also emphasized the need for Kenyans to collaborate with other government departments to win the fight against violent extremism.

Godec said some of the factors contributing to violent extremism are religious ideologies, political and social marginalization and it is the responsibility of all players to ensure the factors that drive violent extremism are addressed.

Kwale county governor Salim Mvurya applauded the action plan on countering extremism, adding that violent extremism has had negative impact in the county raging from economic activities like tourism and residents losing lives.

Mvurya said the action plan will also help in finding the key true players in the fight against extremism.

On the other hand, royal Danish Ambassador to Kenya Amb.Mette Knudsen said the vice is a global challenge and it poses a unique challenge in Kwale County that has seen a lot of returnees who were recruited to join alshabab militia in Somalia.

“What we need is definitely this collaborative approaches and inclusiveness, we need to work together and trust each other and to find common solutions, not to each  go our way in terms of addressing the challenge”, She said Amb.Knudsen.

The action plan is a result of joint process led by Human Right Agenda organization and the office of the county commissioner, Kwale through the support of Act Chang Transform (ACT), United state Agency for international Development (USAID) and Royal Danish Embassy under its Peace, Security and stability program (PSS).