Siddharth Chatterjee He is the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya.
President Kenyatta addresses the Nation on January 16, 2019. "I also congratulate the civilians who cared for each other. "For every act of evil that caused injuries yesterday, there were a dozen acts of compbadion, overflowing patriotism and individual courage", Credit: KBC
NAIROBI, Kenya, January 16, 2019 (IPS) – On January 15, 2019, terror hit the 14 Riverside Drive in Nairobi.
Kenya is in mourning after a senseless act about innocent and defenseless civilians by individuals concerned with a despicable and misguided ideology; They expect to intimidate others through violent acts of terror. As in their previous attempts, they have failed, and Kenya still can not do anything.
As President Kenyatta has pointed out in his speech; "We will not allow anyone to disrupt or frustrate our progress … We have prevailed and we will always prevail over evil." Let's go work without fear and continue with our work to build our nation. "
Our thoughts are with all those affected and families that are experiencing the most inconsolable pain and trauma of this atrocious act. The UN Team in Kenya stands in solidarity with the families who suffer the most inconsolable pain and will live for a long time with the trauma of this terrible attack.
As the intelligence and security apparatus continues its investigations, our message to Kenyans is that we can not give in to the fear or temptation to define the attack as a war between races or religions. That has always been the narrative that the perpetrators of terror would like to spread.
Fortunately, they have always been on the losing side of the story. The attack on 14 Riverside Drive should not deter the Kenyan resolution, but should further strengthen the country's determination to overcome adversity and the challenges that threaten its social fabric.
We applaud the work of the Kenyan security emergency rescue services and the first responders, who mobilized at an opportune moment, demonstrated exceptional professionalism and heroism, minimizing the number of fatalities. We also congratulate the Kenyans for their heroic acts and their mutual solidarity during this time.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, in his message "has strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Nairobi and extends its condolences to the families of the victims and wishes that the wounded recover quickly. The Secretary General expresses his solidarity with the people and the Government of Kenya (GoK). "
Terrorism remains a global threat and presents a challenging test for intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world. No country is immune. Kenya has done remarkably well in preventing numerous other attacks.
The reality is that a large amount of stress affects vulnerable populations around the world, leaving many disproportionately susceptible to extremist ideologies, driven by factors such as increased youth unemployment, which terrorist groups take advantage of as a considerable reserve for the recruits. It is necessary to make concerted efforts to weaken the narrative of terrorist groups and win the battle of ideas.
The UN remains firm in its support for Kenya's development agenda, including commendable government initiatives based on a long-term vision of the prevention of violent extremism in line with the UN Development Assistance Framework.
Together we can look for smart and sustainable strategies that increase security with what the UNDP administrator, Achim Steiner, describes as the triple nexus, "Achieving the 2030 Agenda and ensuring that no one is left behind requires a proactive, evidence-based and holistic approach. of the risk. , resilience and prevention through humanitarian effort, development and peace"This approach will be a long-term antidote to terrorism and the key to preventing violent extremism.
Our partnership is already underway with several local initiatives that are paying off. Formerly characterized by belligerency based on competition for resources, the border regions of East Africa are slowly changing the narrative, replacing aggression with dialogue and socio-economic transformation.
A key initiative is the Kenya-Ethiopia cross-border program, launched in December 2015 by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia. This initiative has the support of IGAD, the European Union and Japan and is implemented by the United Nations family in Kenya and Ethiopia together with the local authorities on both sides.
Such initiatives represent determination and hope. They are a statement that the soul of those on the right side of humanity can never be destroyed or impeded from living freely by terrorists.