Mombasa politicians blamed rising youth extremism in their region on poverty and marginalisation, calling for social policies to curb youth radicalisation, Kenya's The Standard reported Monday (December 23rd).
Muslim youth in Mombasa staged a mosque takeover at the Jamia Sakina mosque last month, where they displaced the imam and led Friday prayers themselves. They attempted a repeat incident at the Umar Ibin Al Khattab mosque several days later, but were blocked by police.
"This problem is more of a social and security problem and no amount of force can help bring it to an end," said Mombasa County Senator Hassan Omar at a one-day seminar on human rights and de-radicalisation held in Mombasa on Sunday sponsored by local human rights organisation Haki Africa.
Seminar participants urged police to refrain from using violence in order to avoid further escalation.
"We believe that only dialogue, commitment to human rights principles and partnerships will be able to resolve the problems affecting our society," Haki Africa board chairman Munir Mazrui said.