Final Evaluation: Inuka! Community-Led Security Approaches to Violent Extremism in Coastal Kenya (October 2018)

Search for Common Ground

Created 11/06/2018


Kenya has seen a steady rise in terrorist incidents and violent extremism over the last 10 years, which has affected the Coast region in particular. These activities are the result of local, regional and global trends, including the rise of the terrorist group Al-Shabaab in Somalia. At the same time, economic, social and political grievances have acted as drivers of violence in Kenya.

Economically, poverty and unequal wealth distribution are issues affecting young people and the Coast in particular. Livelihoods in the region have indeed suffered directly from insecurity and the rate of unemployment there is much higher than the national average. Socially, communities have lamented the lack of opportunities in terms of education, healthcare, and other social services. Politically, some communities—like Muslims and ethnic Somalis—have been historically discriminated by the government.

The lack economic and social opportunities, along with a sense of political marginalization, have therefore left young people in the region more vulnerable to radicalism and recruitment by extremist groups, chiefly Al-Shabaab. At the same time, the heavy-handed responses of the Kenyan government—allegedly including human rights abuses and criminalization of entire minorities—have further sowed mistrust between communities and authorities.

It is in this context that Search for Common Ground started the Inuka! project, working in four counties (Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu and Mombasa) and with three local partners: the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance (KMYA), the Kiunga Youth Bunge Initiative (KYBI), and Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI). Partners worked to develop platforms for effective and meaningful collaboration and engagement between various stakeholders, including security forces, in an effort to build a community security framework to halt the cycle of radicalization and violence.

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