Friday April 17 2015

Engage terrorists in talks, EA govts told

By Joseph Kato

Kampala.

An Afghanistan-born strategist in peace and development has advised East African governments to create a platform for dialogue with terrorists in order to combat the vice.

“I think it is time East African governments organised a round-table discussion with the terrorists. This would help to know why they are fighting. Dialogue is the best way to solve matters. It creates a win-win situation,” Mr Haron Aloko said.

Mr Aloko made the recommendation at a public dialogue organised by Makerere University on Tuesday where he was guest speaker. The dialogue aimed at finding ways of combating terrorism and crime.

Citing Afghanistan where one million people have died as a result of instability in the region, Mr Aloko discouraged the regional governments against using excessive force.

He also called for creation of jobs to solve massive unemployment, saying it was the only way to prevent youth from being conscripted into terrorism.

“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Create employment and economic opportunities for the young people. If someone has what to eat and a steady source of income, they cannot be lured into acts of terrorism,” he said.

Tackle roots
Mr Wilberforce Seryazi, an advocate for peace and conflict resolution, said conditions of insurgency beyond the guise of religion and politics should be addressed to manage terrorism.

“There must be deep rooted issues that galvanise individuals to waste their life and that of others as a suicide bomber or terrorist. For instance, a person living in absolute poverty, frustration and hopelessness has the potency to do this,” Mr Seryazi said.

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