Horn of Africa Bulletin Vol 28 No.1 January-February 2016

In ‘Countering violent extremism: Challenges in policy and practice’ the Horn of Africa has witnessed its share of attacks by movements designated as terrorists. The rising incidence of these attacks, the endurance of the Al Shabaab in Somalia and the expansion of its activities into Kenya, point to the continuing relevance of efforts to counter terrorism. In ‘Violent extremism in the Horn: Regional dynamics and public opinion’ over the past two decades, violent extremism has grown to become the central security concern of several African states. East Africa, and the Horn in particular, are especially vulnerable to the spread of both indigenous and international terrorism and, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, became a strategic focal point for the American-led “War on Terror.” Porous borders, poor governance, corruption, as well as a history of enduring ethnic conflict have created conditions in which terrorist groups have been able to thrive. In ‘A community-based approach to increasing the peace in Nairobi’s informal settlements’ violence and conflict have always threatened vulnerable communities, but in a world defined by globalization, urbanization, and other developments fuelling the rapid movement of people across the globe, the capacity for violence today has the potential to destabilize countries and lead to regional and even global crises. ‘Radicalization of children and youth in Kenya: A new challenge to child protection’ focuses on this recent phenomenon of radicalization of children in Kenya into Islamic extremist groups. The article attempts to briefly explore the impacts of radicalization of children in Kenya as a new challenge in relation to the discourse of child protection. With a view of curbing the harm on the lives, well-being, survival and development of children in some parts of Kenya, the article also includes general remarks to be considered in the fight against radicalism. In ‘Embedding policies on community tension monitoring’ Terrorism exacerbated by increased radicalization of young people is emerging as a serious threat to states and societies in the Horn. What makes the situation even more critical is that the region is already afflicted by many other conflicts and vulnerabilities. The fear and threat of violent extremism and terrorism in the region now supersedes and galvanizes international concern more than any other form of violence.