Kenya: 200 youth missing after release

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Over 200 youth released from prison over their alleged links to Al-Shabaab cannot be traced.

The youth were arrested when police raided the Minaa, Swafaa, Musa and Sakina mosques in September last year in an anti-terrorism crackdown and held in prison.

They would be released from the Shimo La Tewa Prison after local leaders promised to help reintegrate them into society.

And yesterday, Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa confirmed that some of the youth were missing.

“Politicians pleaded with the government to free them from prison, promising to guide them on to the right path. But now, it is shocking the youth have vanished. Where are they and what are they doing? Only a few who can be traced,” said Mr Marwa.

Mr Marwa told a security meeting at the Mkomani Showground on Monday that he wanted parents to come clean on the whereabouts of their missing children.

AL-SHABAAB LITERATURE

“They had grenades, firearms and Al-Shabaab literature when they were arrested. When they left the prison, we were told they would be rehabilitated. Parents should tell us the truth.”

Meanwhile, Mr Marwa, who chairs the county security committee, said all schools and colleges had been secured after reports that Al-Shabaab recruits were out to lure students to join the terror group.

He said the government was also monitoring school dropouts and accused parents of failing to take responsibility for their children.

“School principals and headteachers should monitor students. We want to know where the dropouts go,” Mr Marwa added.

He also revealed that the gang leaders behind crimes in Majengo and Old Town are Mr Nasir Sogomo and Mr Luqman Khatib.

He named Mr Nurdin Khamisi and Mr Jamal Rashid as among the most wanted criminals. Mr Khamisi and Mr Rashid are suspected to have joined Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

“Khamisi and Rashid are dangerous, they transverse between Diani and Majengo. Who funds them? What are they planning?” said Mr Marwa.

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