TERRORISM IS DEFINED

On April 3, Kenyans woke up to the chilling news of the terrible attack on students at Garissa University College. The death toll rose to appalling 147 with about 79 casualties recorded. The Al-Shabaab terrorist group would unanimously claim responsibility. The incident brought back the unwelcome memories of the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi, and the more recent butchering of civilians in the Westgate Shopping mall in 2013 in a feat that was partly documented on national television. Terrorism, once again, had reared its hideous head. While terrorism is treated as a universal menace, Kenya has had its share of the nightmare. In 1980, the Norfolk, a Jewish-owned hotel was attacked. Four years after the bombing of the US Embassy Israeli-owned Paradise hotel was bombed. On 28th November 2002 there were missile attacks on an Israel Plane after takeoff from Mombasa airport. Subsequently there was an attack on Kikambala Hotel when they were receiving Israeli tourists. The blast occurred just after 60 visitors had checked into the hotel, all of them from Israel. 13 were killed and 80 injured. Ten Kenyans died. The statistics are staggering since these are the major occurrences recorded. Recently there have been attacks on holidayers on the coast of Libya. In Nigeria, the presence of Boko Haram is another example of this global crisis. The sect has been likened to the multiple headed hydras where one head is cut, there emerges two. Further afield, the USA had had to deal with the menace that is Al-Quaeda, with the memorable August 7th bombings that rocked the most powerful nation. USA went ahead to fight back, and with the death of veteran Osama bin Laden the horns of Al-Qaeda were considerably culled. Not so long afterwards, the Islamic State would emerge in the Asian territory. Hardly a week goes by without an act of terrorism taking place somewhere in the world, indiscriminately affecting innocent souls. Countering this scourge is in the interest of the United Nations and the issue has been on the agenda of the United Nations for decades now. Terrorism, at its simplest, is defined as any act designed to cause terror. It is generally understood to feature a political objective, usually the politics of nationalism, ethnicity, religion, ideology or social class, among others. Definitions as to which acts will be considered terrorism will be more often subjective than objective. Terrorist groups aim to cause widespread disruption, fear and intimidation and generally achieve global unrest which would work to their advantage. They use threats and violence to propagate their motives. Usually they motivate those who side with them while prosecuting those that go against them. They often aim to influence governments and are often opposed to existing ideologies like democracy, justice, freedom of worship and equality. Though there are many types of terrorism like bioterrorism, narcoterrorism and the rest it’s the plan of the UN to come up with an effective strategy to destroy all this plans of terrorists in the world in order to bring economic growth and development together with global peace and harmony which will help nations realize their goals. Governments worldwide have opted to work side by side to openly shun terrorism and to combat the crisis. It is common knowledge that terrorism is universal and a single state cannot stand on its own against the menace. Recently the president of the US was in the country and combating terrorism was one of the main reasons for his visit. We have different kinds of effects that are economic, political and social brought about by terrorism. Some of these effects include destruction of business and property for instance the Westgate saga brings injuries and deaths to innocent people and causes psychological trauma to the immediate victims. It also causes short term and long term impact on the economy of the attacked country while it enhances security, military and intelligence activities to deter future attacks. Terrorism creates publicity for groups or individuals initiating the attacks, which is often their objective. We are looking forward to a day when terrorism will be history. But of course as we wait for the day to come some measures are supposed to be put in place to see to it that terrorism activities are not catalyzed. Dictators who fund terrorists should not be supported and drone assassination of innocent civilians should be stopped. Poverty alleviation strategies should be encouraged. This is because lack of resources to make ends meet has triggered the growth of this menace. Unemployment especially among the youth should be looked into. Youths are being recruited in the terror groups because they are given money to meet their needs. Corruption also contributes a lot to terrorism. Officers are bribed at the borders to allow weapons of mass destruction to get into the country.