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The ‘BRAVE’ deradicalization of the Kenyans

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Nairobi, Kenya: The proliferation of extremist groups around the African continent have taken the sleep away of the security personnel around the world. While there have been discussions and debates going on how to tackle this upsurge of violence, one organization in Kenya has taken the responsibility to aid the youths and elders of Kenya back into the right path again.

The organization is known as Building Resilience against Violence Extremism or simply as BRAVE. It works to counter the effects of the radical principles that can trap the minds of the vulnerable youths and also of the Clerics and Imams.

Over 2000 young Kenyans have registered themselves for the program, some of them are sent on court order while others have signed up on their own. There is a program which is run for four days and admits especially clerics and Imams into it. The sessions help them learn to counter the message of the radicals.

So far, BRAVE has trained about 150 clerics and Imams. One of them is Imam Aizadin Omar, he has been related to a mosque, at the outskirts of Nairobi, for 5 years now. One which has been reported in a 2013 UN report which linked one of its officials to terrorist funding.

Omar says that the program has helped him to detect and counter extremist leanings in his community. He also adds that before the youths can be deradicalized, one has to go step by step, then there are adults as well who are deeply radicalized and changing them back is quite hard.

According to the founder of BRAVE, Mustafa Alai, some are still staying away as there works a fear of reprisal. He states that: “Many Kenyans, particularly the Muslims have been intimidated by the violent extremist groups to such an extent that they don’t to talk about violent extremism or else of terrorism. Specially the intimidation is highly intense in places like Mandera and north-eastern Kenya”.

Whereas, the experts say that the root causes like unemployment should also be addressed.

Andrew Franklin, a security analyst, is of the opinion that that the deradicalizing programs only deals with the symptoms rather than the causes of the problem. He asks that question regarding exactly what cause people, especially youths to get such attachments to violence, from being alienated to being marginalized, to picking up of weapons. In other words, becoming radicalized, to going off to fight and join these terrorist groups. (The news is brought to you by NewsGram in association with VOA.

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North Kivu and Ituri, Congo To Welcome More Than 80,000 Children in This New School Year

According to the latest World Health Organization estimates, there have been 116 cases of Ebola, including 77 deaths, in the DRC.

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A Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a boy who had contact with an Ebola sufferer in the village of Mangina in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. VOA

Government authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo say 250 schools in North Kivu and Ituri provinces will open their doors to more than 82,500 children when the new school year begins Monday.

These areas are the epicenter of the latest Ebola epidemic in DRC. The Ebola virus is extremely contagious. It can spread quickly through direct contact with blood and other bodily fluids of infected people.

UNICEF says it is scaling up operations in the region to promote prevention measures. It says school principals and teachers will receive training on Ebola prevention and protection and on how to educate children on good hygiene practices to avoid the spread of the virus.

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A World Health Organization (WHO) worker administers a vaccination during the launch of a campaign aimed at beating an outbreak of Ebola in Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 21, 2018. VOA

Spokesman Christophe Boulierac said UNICEF and its partners had reached more than 2 million people with Ebola prevention messages since the start of the outbreak on August 1.

“An increasing number of communities are now aware about Ebola and … they know better how to prevent its transmission,” Boulierac said. “The active involvement of concerned communities is key to stopping the spread of the disease. So, we are working closely with them to promote handwashing and good hygiene practices.”

According to the latest World Health Organization estimates, there have been 116 cases of Ebola, including 77 deaths, in the DRC. UNICEF said children make up an unusually high proportion of people affected by the disease. It noted that 24 percent of confirmed cases were in people under age 24.

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A family sits outside in a neighborhood where three people died of Ebola in Mbandaka, Congo,
VOA

Also Read: Congo’s New Ebola Outbreak Is A Great Risk: WHO

Boulierac said more than 150 psychosocial workers had been trained to help comfort children infected with the disease in treatment centers. He said they also would support children who were discharged as free of Ebola but were at risk of stigmatization upon returning to their communities. (VOA)