Hundreds of Kenyan youths have reportedly been missing from their homes and even from learning institutions.
The government has severally been blamed on these disappearances by Human rights organizations even terming them as ‘extrajudicial killings’ and ‘enforced disappearances’ all blamed on the police.
Kenya’s security agents have been concerned about the missing youths with reports confirming most of them have since been recruited by the Somalia based jihadist group, the Al-Shabaab.
Hundreds of the missing youths have crossed over to Somalia for training in the Al-Shabaab camps.
Sampling a few events reveal the gravity of Al-Shabaab recruitment in relation to rampant youth disappearances in the country as reported and documented by the Intelligence service.
An Al-Shabaab active cell had rented a house in a posh Nairobi suburb where they were radicalizing a group of 20 young pupils.
Early October 2015, Kenya’s anti-terror police unit in Nairobi raided the hideout in posh Kileleshwa estate and arrested a 14 year old who was to do his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education together with 19 others.
Report indicate the young pupils were recruited by Al-Shabaab youth and were undergoing radical teachings, trained on how to handle and use guns after which they were to be crossed over to Somalia within two months.
The anti-terror police managed to rescue 20 children but 20 others reportedly had already been sneaked to Al-Shabaab camps in Somalia.
May 1st, 2015 Kenya security officers intercepted and arrested four boys enroute to Somalia through Liboi, one parent in Isiolo had reported of his son disappearance
Halima Hassan’s teenage brother asked for Sh 4,000 as payment for school trip only to be learnt to have joined Al-Shabaab a year and half later.
In July 2015, police arrested Hussein Sara Hassan in Mombasa for recruiting six youths into Al-Shabaab.
The six recruits were identified as Abdifath Hassan, Ali Abdulahi Ismael Sheik, Muhamed Isack Muhume Ibrahim, Ali Hassan Abubakar and Aweys Mohammed Shee.
Hussein Sara Hassan was presented in court for youth recruitment in Coastal region.
Last year, Isiolo Boys High School reported at least 10 students to have quit and joining the Somali based Islamist group.
In another incident, students from Marsabit Mixed Secondary School and Moi Girls Secondary, also in Marsabit, Koseka Secondary, Birunda PAG Primary and St Patrick’s Bumula Secondary School in Western Kenya were reported to have escaped from school and joined the insurgent group.
More than 200 pupils are reported to have disappeared from school in Isiolo and joined Al Shabaab.
Kenya security agents the intelligence reports showing hundreds of missing youths in schools and from their homes might have joined the Al-Shabaab ranks.
Al-Shabaab which was targeting youths from Muslim dominated localities has expanded their recruitment areas.
Intelligence reports indicating the militants targeting youths from areas such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Isiolo and Marsabit are now moving further to Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu, Busia, Kakamega as well as in other major towns.
Apart from targeting youths in learning institutions, Al-Shabaab also targets idle youths who are economically disadvantaged with promises of a good life.
Hundreds of families who have reported on disappearance of their children many have since confirmed that their siblings to have travelled to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab.
Kenya security agents have called on parents to exercise caution, watch over their children, monitor on their daily activities, report to the relevant authorities if they too go missing.
According to intelligence reports hundreds of youths have been documented to have joined Al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia and had it not for the efforts of joint security operations in rescuing some before getting into the terror camps, it would be alleged as extrajudicial killing and forced disappearances.