Just as Tanzania and Mozambique have been carrying out joint military operations against terrorists along their shared border, they have also teamed up to organise deradicalisation programs using education and other means to prevent youth from falling into the trap of terror groups.
Authorities in the two countries say terrorist groups like Daesh/ISS responsible for killing hundreds of people and displacing thousands of others are using religion and the vulnerabilities of youth to radicalise them.
Acting police chief of the southern Mtwara region in Tanzania, Nicodemus Katembo said the initiative launched by both countries in January is aimed at sensitising the population about the dangers of terrorism.
“The best way to fight terrorism is to empower young people at risk of being brainwashed by terrorists,” he said.
According to the initiative, both countries are aiming to target marginalised young people from Mtwara, Lindi, Ruvuma, Cabo Delgado, and Niassa provinces.
“We work closely with our friends in Mozambique to ensure that our young people are sufficiently educated to reject evil,” said Katembo.
Besides military operations, authorities in the two countries have also adopted a softer approach to identify and address factors that persuade young people to join the terrorist ranks.
Spokesperson of Mozambique’s Niassa Province Police Command, Alves Mathe said the initiative is in line with the country’s new counter-terrorism strategy which has presented major changes in the government approach in fighting terrorism.
“We want to talk to young people about their problems and try to help them to find solutions,” he said.
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