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The roots of radicalization: Citizens’ views on the causes and solutions for insecurity in Kenya

The majority of Kenyans (70%) feel that Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) troops should be withdrawn from Somalia. Just over half of citizens (53%) want the troops to be deployed to Kenyan borders. A further 9% want them to return home if other African countries send troops to replace them while 8% think they should be brought home regardless of whether they are replaced. At the same time, when asked about ways in which the appeal of radical groups for marginalized youth can be reduced in Kenya, only 1 out of 50 citizens (2%) think that withdrawing troops from Somalia will support this aim.

These findings were released by Twaweza, in a research brief titled The roots of radicalization: Citizens’ views on the causes and solutions for insecurity in Kenya. The findings are based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey. The findings are based on data collected from 1,801 respondents across Kenya in August and September 2016.

Citizens also have faith in KDF’s readiness for a terrorist attack, and two out of three Kenyans think they are very ready or ready for such an attack. This is important as 8 out of 10 citizens think that Al-Shabaab are still a threat to the country’s security. This fear may be driven by high levels of awareness of past attacks; 71% have heard of at least one attack. The most infamous attack was that on Garissa University (55%), followed by the Mandera attacks (36%) and the Westgate Mall attack (32%).

Citizens are also largely in favour of the closure of Dadaab refugee camp. Among those who are aware of this plan (64%), 8 out of 10 (80%) support the decision.

                                How prepared do you think the Kenyan military is to protect you in case of an attack from                                                             a radical/extremist/terror group?

                                    

 

   Which method is the best for the government to fight the increasing appeal of radical groups in East Africa?

                  

 

                   How worried are you about radical groups or individuals trying to recruit your family member?

                                  

Read more: citizens radicalism Sauti za Wananchi

Editors: Aidan Eyakuze Risha Chande

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Organizations: Twaweza East Africa

Pages: 12

Type: Policy brief

Year: 2016

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