Primary and high School students have become the prime targets for recruitment by terror and criminal groups, a government report has revealed.
According to the report compiled by a special task force within the ministry of education, which was handed over to education CS Fred Matiang’i, the groups are using both teachers and students to recruit members.
The report also further gave insights into why teenagers join criminal gangs citing; absentee parents, peer pressure, poverty, attempts to cope with rejection and pressure from satanic practices as the top factors.
“Some parents were reported to have been regularly absent from home and therefore not available for their children. in the absence of necessary guidance, the children were left on their own to learn from their peers or any other person whom they interacted with,” the report states.
Apparently, young people are also engaging n devil worshiping practices, which are driving them into criminal activities.
“During the investigations, the team noted narratives that point to the existence of devil worship in schools. For instance 48 out of 703 students admitted to the existence of devil worship”.
The report has recommended the government to investigate, crack down and prosecute members of criminal gangs in and around schools and also to vet literature exposed to learners.
Radicalization in Kenya is a real threat with the target group for the militants varying in age. The target group for the recruiters are children and youth between ages of 15-30 and mostly boys.