On 15th January, Kenyans and indeed the world was shocked by a terror attack at the Dusit D2 complex an upmarket building that houses a 101-room hotel, restaurant and office buildings occupied by local and international companies. The 20-hour siege left 21 people dead with more than 700 safely evacuated from the building. Even before the dust settles on the Dusit attack, two people suffered injuries on Saturday night 26th January, 2019 following an explosion outside a restaurant at the Tom Mboya Street-Latema Road intersection in Nairobi’s Central Business District. The blast, which is suspected to have been caused by an improvised explosive device (IED). Witnesses reported seeing a man pushing a trolley outside the restaurant, seconds later, a huge blast was heard sending members of the public scampering to safety. Those injured included the person pulling the trolley carrying the luggage and a newspaper vendor.

Kenyan youths have been a frequent target of terrorist attacks and it is about time we have a candid conversation with ourselves. We hold the key to countering violent extremism. It is saddening to note that the perpetrators of the heinous crimes lived amongst us and are people we interacted with on a day to day basis. Several suspects have been arrested for aiding the terrorists. This would not have been the case if those who interacted with the terrorists would have reported any suspicious activities. The bank employees would have reported the suspicious transactions, the security agencies would have been meticulous in carrying out searches at checkpoints and the citizens ought to share information with security agencies whenever we come across any security concern. Security is the responsibility of each and every one of us, if we all work together then terrorism will be defeated in Kenya.

By Jonathan Tyno Rotino, Youth Senator-West Pokot. The article was first published in the Star Newspaper.

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