Radar pinpoints the fundamentals behind current developments in conflict-affected countries and neighboring sub-regions.
With the embers of the Westgate Mall attack slowly cooling off, the Kenyan government’s policies have faced heavy scrutiny. As the global security environment changes and instances of terrorism increase throughout the East African region, countries within this region should progressively invest more resources into enhancing their capacities for security, both domestically and regionally, while encouraging greater cooperation and joint security efforts.
The 9/21 Attack on Westgate Mall: Understanding the Youth Factor in Violent Radicalization in Eastern Africa and the Horn of Africa
Al-Shabaab has begun to mobilize support by taking advantage of political and socio-economic vulnerabilities of the youth in Somalia’s neighboring countries. After two and a half decades of counterproductive military interventions, peacebuilding processes may need to be reconsidered and instead focus on inclusive ideas that do not overlook the importance of the youth.
With the terrorist group Al-Shabaab coming forward and taking responsibility for the recent Westgate Attack in Nairobi, the debate over the implications for security across the region has been rejuvenated. Shadrack W. Nasong’o’s analyzes these through several lenses: doubts about the efficiency of the Kenyan intelligence and security agencies, Kenya’s continued military presence in Somalia, the recruitment of non-Somali East Africans among Al-Shabaab, and the desperate nature of this specific attack in light of Al-Shabaab’s own defeat within Somalia.
The Westgate siege affirms an observation made by many concerned Kenyans over the years, and more fervently since March: that there is a nexus between the high levels of insecurity in the country and the operational weaknesses of our security forces. This paper looks inward at the state of Kenya’s security system and lessons that can be learned from the Westgate siege.