COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGIES AND PERFORMANCE OF THE NATIONAL POLICE SERVICE IN MANAGING TERRORISM IN LAMU COUNTY, KENYA
Otieno, Fredrick Okoth
MetadataShow full item record
Terrorism remains a major danger to the world and safety at domestic, regional and international level. It undermines the basic principles of law, justice, human rights and freedom and proves to be an affront to the United Nations (UN) Global Covenant and the values and principles expressed in the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act of Africa. It also poses a serious and clear threat to states ' territorial sovereignty, security and stability. Effective counter-terrorism approaches in this regard remain critical instruments to mitigate risks and deleterious effects of terrorism. In Kenya, the National Police Service (NPS) is one of the key agencies involved in counterterrorism operations. Given emerging trends of terrorist groups and continued attack in Kenya by terrorist elements, it is imperative that the NPS improves the overall direction of its counter terrorism strategy and adopt robust counterterrorism mechanisms in the fight against terrorism. The problem that necessitated this study was the continued attack by suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists in Lamu County despite the NPS adopting numerous counterterrorism strategies in its operations. The general objective of this study was to investigate counterterrorism strategies employed by the NPS, their performance and the challenges they face in managing terrorism in Lamu County, Kenya. The study was guided by the following specific objectives: evaluate counterterrorism strategies employed by the NPS in Lamu County; assess efficacy of policing approaches utilised in counterterrorism by the NPS in Lamu County; and examine challenges in implementing counterterrorism strategies by the NPS in Lamu County, Kenya. The study adopted a conceptual framework and was informed by Expectancy Theory, Control Theory and Justice Theory of Performance. The study employed survey research design which entailed the use of ex post facto research design employing mixed method approach. The target population were members of the NPS, religious leaders, council of elders and administrators (chiefs and county commissioner) in Lamu County. The study used both probability and non-probability sampling methods. Members of the NPS comprising NCOs and members of the inspectorate were first stratified then randomly sampled to generate 189 respondents. Purposive sampling was used to select 12 gazetted officers of the NPS as well as 23 chiefs, 1 county commissioner, 35 council of elders, and 54 religious leaders for the study. Data collection was both interactive (interviews and FGDs) and non-interactive (questionnaires, document analysis, photography and observation). A pilot study was carried out in Lamu County. The reliability of the instruments was determined through the calculation of a correlation coefficient between the first and second administration. The instruments were tested for validity through consultation and discussion with supervisors. Data were analysed by use of descriptive statistics, through qualitative and quantitative techniques. The study found out that counterterrorism strategies employed by the NPS in Lamu County were ineffective and counterterrorism operation poorly handled. The fight against terrorism must involve all stakeholders and the strategies must take into account and address prevailing circumstances and conditions for operation to succeed. Policing approaches utilised by the police were found to be generally effective, acceptable and positively influence the performance of NPS to a great extent. The study also revealed that the challenges in implementing counterterrorism strategies are numerous and varied. Therefore, the key to effective counterterrorism lies in addressing these challenges that have remained key impediments in implementing the strategies. Overally, the study concluded that as terrorism evolves so must counterterrorism strategies, taking into account the prevailing circumstances and dynamics on the ground such as socio-economic and political factors, technology, human resource and governance. The study recommended that all stakeholders be involved in counterterrorism, policing approaches be married with counterterrorism strategies, and underlying issues and challenges be addressed for effective and efficient counterterrorism campaign.