Thought and Ideas
Kenya attack should re-energise the world against terrorism
Posted Sunday, September 29 2013 at 01:00
And so in the world of terrorism it is all celebration after they killed more than 60 innocent people in the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya ast weekend.
The al-shabaab commanders are all over the social media displaying all manner of bravado after committing the heinous crimes in the mall. No doubt they have partly achieved their primary objective of creating fear and panic among the right thinking members of the global community.
Indeed their victims included British nationals, United States, Canada, Nigeria, China, South Africa, of course Kenyans and many others yet to be known.
To appreciate fully the motivation of these terrorists, one must fully understand the objectives of the terrorism as an ideology.
Foremost, terrorism thrives on intimidating people and putting permanent fear within their mind. Terrorists want to coerce or induce government body, international or regional institutions and the general public to act according to certain principles as designed by their evil thinking.
Secondly, terrorists’ other source of success is derived at disrupting any public delivery of essential service delivery and creating public emergency.
And lastly, terrorists believe in creating a general insurrection in the state and cause feelings of insecurity within the public and induce feelings of terror, fear and panic.
Once they have succeeded in creating the above three situations, to them victory has been achieved. Of course the above impacts so negatively on any society. You cannot talk of any economic activity if a country is in such a state. In brief, the sole aim of terrorism is to drive the world back to pre -industrial and subject people into abject poverty and absolutism of the anointed few rulers.
However, while watching Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation hours after the attack, I was freed from anxiety by his words when he assured the world that the ugly attack would not make Kenya relent on pursuing those terrorists up to the last man or woman.
Indeed, time is now for world leaders to feel so energised more than ever before and put aside whatever any other difference that might exist and focus all their energies to decisively deal with the global terror threat.
Of course these terrorists do not exist in isolation. They have where they operate from. They have funders and those that play as hosts for these recruits. With a combined effort, the world should be able to locate these elements and deal with them decisively.
And indeed the reason the terror organisations are making such desperate attempts like the one they unleashed on Westgate is because they have been smashed in their traditional hideouts especially in the Middle East, in Somalia and few countries in the Maghreb region.
To effectively combat these threats we need global approach and collaboration because such terror activities are interlinked and interconnected by actors, space, enabling infrastructure and in impact.
It is through such collaborations that countries will be able to monitor cross-border migrations of these criminals that are taking advantage of our porous borders to infiltrate their targeted countries.
More still, such collaboration should not be in security alone. It should cover trade and shared innovations and investments. This is indeed crucial because most countries are under pressure to ameliorate the growing challenge of unemployment of the youth. The more the youth remain unemployed the more they are becoming soft targets for the terrorism recruitment.
Quite humbling is the way Kenyan politicians displayed political maturity when handling the Westgate crisis. It was so awesome seeing President Kenyatta standing shoulder by shoulder with main opposition politicians Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi, all echoing one message of resilience against terrorism.
One wonders if the Ugandan opposition would be a little bit civil in such circumstances. At least two Members of Parliament i.e. Hon. Semujju Ibrahim Nganda and Hon. Hussein Kyanjo vowed to slaughter a bull to celebrate for every Ugandan soldier killed by al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia where they are battling these criminals for Somalia to regain its status as a functional state .
Finally, words of wisdom from the 6th century Chinese Gen Sun –Tzu could be food for thought as we come to terms with this terror challenge. He wrote thus ….”If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not to fear a hundred battles. If you know yourself and not the enemy for every victory you will suffer a defeat. If you neither know yourself nor the enemy you are a fool and will meet defeat in every battle.”