Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed plans to build a new prison exclusively for extremist suspects, to prevent jihadists from spreading their extremist ideology to the rest of society, according to reports.
Speaking at a graduating ceremony for prison officers this month, President Uhuru said, “We will establish a new prison to hold violent, extremist offenders – the truth of the matter is that we cannot allow them to spread their poison to vulnerable Kenyans,” the Telegraph reported.
The proposal has sparked an intense debate with some observers drawing parallels with the infamous U.S. prison facility, Guantánamo Bay.
We are concerned by the announcement by HE @UKenyatta to build a 'Guantanámo Bay' type prison in Kenya for 'terrorists'.
— ICJ Kenya (@ICJKenya) February 17, 2016
Kenya has been affected by various cases of extremist attacks and the country has witnessed a dramatic rise in violent extremism over the years.
According to Afrobarometer, between 1970 and 2007, Kenya has “experienced 190 terrorist attacks, an average of five per year; since 2008, the average has escalated to 47 attacks a year. The overwhelming majority of these incidents have been attributed to Al-Shabaab”.
Against the backdrop of the 9/11 terror attacks, America sought to deal with the problem of terrorism by creating a facility where suspects could be detained and interrogated.
Following sharp criticism and condemnation over the ill-treatment of terror suspects from across the world who are detained at Gitmo, the United States president Barack Obama has found it difficult to close down the facility.
However, early this year, it was announced the facility will be closed, though no actual date of closure was given. The U.S. has since transferred some of the Guantánamo Bay detainees to some African countries, including Ghana, Uganda and Cape Verde.
Source: the Telegraph