78th issue new dawn 1

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  • 1.Abdulsatar: A man with a Mariam Ahmedvision for empowerment talks about her of Muslims-P5 UNFPA award-P7Special Feature Marhaba MagazineVol. 07 Issue N0: 5January 1 - January 15, 2012. (Safar 7, 1433 A.H)www.thenewdawn.info Forum asksGovt to rethink s security strategyResidents of Garissa and neighbouring districts say foreigners are carryingout terror attacks in North Eastern with help from local accomplicesPhoto: Iddi MusyemiReligious and community leaders confer during the KMYA forum on security challenges in Garissa.By Hassan Ole Naado Muslims candidates perform poorly in 2011 KCPEMistrust between security agencies and the civilianBy Fauzia Wangarepopulation in the frontline regions bordering Somaliamay jeopardise Kenyas military operation against theal-Shabaab militant group and even frustrate ongoingFor the second year running, Muslim students have once againhomeland security efforts.performed poorly as others had their results cancelled due to A grassroots crisis meeting organised over the Christmas weekend irregularities.by the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance (KMYA) in collaboration withAt the Coast, students at Ganjoni Intergrated Mixed Primarythe Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) to discussSchool saw their results withheld by the Ministry of Education. Inthe sudden rise of grenade and machinegun attacks in Garissa Town Mombasa County the highest scorer managed 437 marks while therevealed that many residents of North Eastern Province are unwillingleast had 428; Lamu County the highest had 406 and least scoredto assist the government arrest perpetrators of these attacks and even371; Garissa 416 and the least 399; Mandera 414 and the least 378;prevent some of the attacks because security agents simply ignore their Wajir had 406 and the least 395.input or end up victimising the very people who volunteer information. County-wise among the top 20, Wajir was at position 13 whileMandera stood at position 20 as Garissa came in at number 22.Continued on Pg 2

2. 2 / National News The New DawnJanuary 1 - January 15, 2012.Rethink security strategy, forum tells GovtContinued from Pg 1 situation in Garissa is very dynamic and, therefore,requires thinking outside the box.For example, a fact-finding mission organised The government is relying on the same oldby KMYA was told that the brutality visited uponinformers to gather intelligence. But today we aregood Samaritans who rushed to assist security dealing with sophisticated criminals and that is whyofficers injured when an explosive device blew up we need the input of local people or officers whothe vehicle they were riding in around the Daadab understand the local society better in order to dealrefugee camp has discouraged local people fromwith crime in Garissa, Mr Mohamed said.assisting the government in security matters. In this regard, there is a feeling in Garissa,We fear victimisation and that is why we and the entire North Eastern region, that thewould rather say nothing and run away when ourgovernment should rethink its security strategyhelp is needed. Youth leaders recently reported in this region by establishing mutually beneficialthat they came across people planting devices nearstructures through which local people can play athe refugee camp and when they reported to themore active and beneficial role in policing activities.police, they were instead beaten and locked up forThey said that lack of arrests and arraignmentinterrogation as suspects, a local youth leader said.in court of suspected perpetrators of the GarissaSince Kenya deployed the military in Somaliaattacks showed lack of concern by the governmentto pursue al-Shabaab militants that have lately posed hence encouraging more attacks.a serious threat to the countrys national security, aWe expected swift action in arresting andseries of deadly grenade and improvised explosive arraigning in court people who carried out attacksdevises (IEDs) attacks have been carried out againstin Garissa the way the police have done in similarcertain establishments and residences where close tosituations in Nairobi and Mombasa. But given thatten people, including children and women, have been nobody has been arrested for the Garissa attacks,wounded and killed. we believe the government does not care or is notThis turn of events has raised concern amongserious, said Sheikh Salat.grassroots leaders in Garissa, with many of themThey also said that the long history ofwondering what has become of Garissaa townKenya Defence Forces personnel on patrol.exclusion has created lack of interest by the localthat was two years ago voted the safest town in Eastcommunity to cooperate with government inand Central Africa. security matters. The icy relationship between locals Sheikh Salat, however, denounced the attacksand insisting on archaic methods of policing.Why have we suddenly made this about-turnand the government machinery had made it difficult and those who facilitate them saying; Islam itselfA youth representative said that the recenton peace and security when we were just voted the for a bigger population to volunteer information on means peace and every local resident of Garissa attacks in Garissa seem to have been carried outmost peaceful and safest town in the entire Eastcriminal activities to the authorities not because they who claims to be a Muslim must first and foremost with a lot of sophistication, thus pointing to theand Central Africa region? Why have we suddenly fear to give such information, but because they lack embrace peace. fact that those who carried them out are people withlost our humanity and where did the rain startconfidence in the government machinery. He said that Muslims cannot practice theiradvanced military training.beating us? posed Sheikh Abdullahi Sirat, a senior The youth said they were not involved in religion and worship effectively in the absence of The people who did these things appear to beSUPKEM official who hails from Garissa. security arrangements in the region yet they are peace, and that is why it is incumbent upon all well-trained beyond the capacity of local police. ThisThe recent attacks have targeted people the ones who bear the brunt of police operations Muslims to preach peace in their communities. is why the local police should seek new methods ofperceived to be outsiders, a situation KMYA and whenever there is an attack. The five pillars of Islam cannot thrive wheretracking down these criminals by being proactive andSUPKEM fear could create religious and ethnic According to them, the kind of attacks being there is no peace and security, and that is why not waiting for attacks to occur and then swing intoanimosity between Muslims and Christians in thiscarried out in Garissa, including the explosions Allah has made it incumbent upon all Muslims to action when it is already too late and start harassingregion and spill-over to other parts of the country.targeted at security personnel in the refugee camps embrace peace and commanded Muslims to protectinnocent people, said Aden Barre, a youth leader.Security agencies and other analysts see thesein Daadab and Ifo, are undertaken with the the weak and innocent in society including securingBarre added that since the conduct of Kenyaattacks as revenge carried out by al-Shabaabsophistication that is beyond the comprehension of the safety of people of other religions, Sheikh Salatsecurity agents is very predictable, foreign elementssympathisers in Kenya who view Kenyas military traditional security committees. Hence, there is a said. come to Garissa to carry out attacks and sneak outcampaign in Somalia as a Christian crusade againstneed to incorporate young people in these security The meeting that brought together youth,knowing very well that the police will later swingMuslims and Somalis.committees so that they can bring on board new women, religious and community leaders provided into action to harass local innocent people. This, heIt is wrong and unacceptable for anyoneskills of tracking down such sophisticated criminals. a platform where participants spoke candidly aboutsaid, has encouraged the attackers to perpetuate theirof us to interpret the ongoing Kenya military Because of the apathy they have towards the recent wave of attacks in Garissa and its environs. criminal activities with impunity.operation in Somalia as a war against the entiregovernment machinery, the youth also admitted that Majority of participants conceded that as much Another youth leader, Musa Mohamed, blamedSomali community and use it as an excuse to attacksome young people are being recruited into terror as the local people bear the greatest responsibilitysecurity agents for ignoring the input of localinnocent people elsewhere. Have we suddenly groups where they feel they are more useful. for the attacks because they have allowed criminalpeople, saying that as long as the police continueforgotten that Kenyas defence minister is one of us? But despite the challenges, participants resolved elements to operate from their midst, the securityrelying on their traditional intelligence gatheringSo how can anyone say that the operation in Somalia to use their grassroots networks and influence to agencies are also to blame for not being proactivesystems, they will not get anywhere because theis a campaign against Muslims or Somalis? Sheikh restore and protect peace in Garissa, pointing outSirat added.that there is no excuse whatsoever for someone or aSheikh Mohamed Salat, a local Imam, said thegroup of people to create instability in Garissa.attacks in Garissa have a direct link to the incursionWe must restore and protect the pride ofinto Somalia by the Kenyas Defence Forces (KDF)Garissa as the safest and most peaceful town, andthree months ago.He said that militant youths from SomaliaThe explosions targeted at security personnel in thethat is why all of us must work together, saidSheikh Sirat.have since been crossing into Kenya to ca