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November 1, 2021

Community policing as a solution to fighting terrorism

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Terrorism is a denial of democracy and of human rights, which are at the very core of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every person in the world has the right to life, the right to security, and other human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Radicalization connected to violence or other unlawful acts, such as incitement to hatred, leads to violent extremism. Terrorist radicalization is a dynamic process whereby an individual comes to accept terrorist violence as a possible, perhaps even legitimate, course of action.

Kenya and Uganda have been peace and security ambassadors in the fight to combat violent extremists group Al Shabaab based in Somalia. The two countries have been victims of vile acts of terrorism in the recent past. For instance, recently a suicide explosion hit a bus in central Uganda, leaving one person dead and scores injured.

A few days earlier, terrorist group, ISIS claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in Uganda’s capital Kampala, targeting government officers gathered there. Such acts of violence should be shunned and communities should work together to identify terrorism perpetrators before they scar our societies.

As much as the state has the obligation and responsibility to prevent and combat terrorism, as well as to respect and protect human rights and freedoms, the state needs the support of the community at large, hence successfully countering this phenomenon.

The public and communities are stakeholders and partners in countering terrorism. Public support and participation in countering violent extremism increase accountability, effectiveness, and transparency between the government and its citizens. Through community policing, societal vigilance is maintained and communities take up the responsibility to safeguard their freedoms.