Al Shabaab militants are carrying out massive recruitment in northern counties, Mandera governor Ali Roba has said.
He said the level of recruitment is unprecedented and it poses a national security threat.
Roba said that if unchecked, the recruitment will have grave consequences.
“The national government functions on security have not changed. We need to improve our approach to radicalization and terrorism,” he said. Roba spoke on Saturday in Malindi during the closing ceremony of the Inaugural Asals conference.
Terrorism and radicalization were key issues discussed during the conference that brought together 29 Asal counties and more than 1,000 delegates.
One speaker, Uba Hassan, said the government needs to improve cross-border collaboration.
Chief Rapporteur of the Asals conference Benson Momanyi said strategic plans for security should include the youth. He said the legal framework of peace and security should be simplified.
The conference resolved that security and water supply must be prioritized in the next year.
Governors and key stakeholders blamed terrorism, conflict among pastoralist communities, cattle rustling and shifta wars as the cause of underdevelopment in Asals counties.
They urged the government to enhance security if it is committed to helping transform the regions.
The participants came up with 84 resolutions. They included the demand for food security, education, health, agriculture, water, and environment.
The four-day conference was organized by the State Department for ASAL, the Council of Governors and Ministry of Devolution. It was themed ‘Unlocking the Potential of ASALs for Accelerated National Development’ and was aimed at helping the government and other stakeholders accelerate investment in ASALs.
The next Asals conference will be held next year at Amboseli National Park in Kajiado county.
The closing ceremony at Ocean Beach Resort was attended by Council of Governors chairman Josphat Nanok and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa.
Governors present included Samburu’s Moses Kasaine, Kajiado’s Joseph Lenku, Elgeyo Markwet’s Alex Tolgos, Mutahi Kahiga of Nyeri and Kiraitu Murungi of Meru.
Source: The Star