Friday, 20 November 2020 07:01

Community-Policing in Kenya: A strategy for Counter Violent Extremism

Written by C. C. O. Okwany
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C. C. O. Okwany

Department of Political Science and Public Administration,

The University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 48171, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya: +254 729 226 64

Corresponding Author:

Since the emergence of al-Shabaab in 2006, radicalization has bought anxiety to communities in the Horn of Africa. Focusing on Kenya, the paper examines and evaluates how governments’ security tactics have countered violent extremism. With the emphasis that countering violent extremism needs inclusive and strategic policies such as the philosophy of community policing, the paper addresses how community policing in Kenya adopts inclusive policies. It interrogates how government tactical policies contribute to Violent Extremism (VE). The paper links the sporadic al-Shabaab attacks since 2011, the increasing extrajudicial killings, and the community policing tactics. Digging into contextual features of community policing, it interrogates Nyumba Kumi initiative and Community Policing Authority.  Information gathered is based on interviews from highly affected communities such as Mount Elgon and Kitale in Tranzoia County, Mombasa, Kwale and Lamu counties, Garissa town, Hagadera, and Ijara in Garissa County, Isiolo County, Hola and Garsen in Tana River County. Government institutions such as Nyumba Kumi office, Local authorities such as Chiefs and Member of County assembly, academic experts, and the Kenya police were cross-examined. The paper also including interviews from Nairobi slum areas affected by extrajudicial killings such as Eastleigh, Mathare, Dandora, and Kayole.  Interviews from regions with the best community policing practices such as Muranga and Nyeri Counties and regions with challenges such as Kisumu, Siaya, and Mombasa are beneficial to this paper in explaining and understanding the relationship between the concepts being tested.  The paper concludes blending cultural traits, and governance structure into community-policing helps in countering violent extremism. The conclusion and recommendation are arrived at after the triangulation of the interviews with the documents from government and academic writings.        

Keywords: Community policing, counter violent extremism, extrajudicial killing, Kenya.


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