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UN Secretary-General urges unity and respect to prevent violent extremism 

Nairobi, Kenya - 9 July 2019: While visiting a Nairobi neighbourhood affected by youth radicalization, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called for continued unity and respect to deter local young people from joining violent extremist groups.

Addressing a town hall meeting in Kamukunji Constituency, Mr. Guterres congratulated all stakeholders including community members, traders, Kenyan government agencies and the UN family for their joint efforts to stamp out violent extremism.

A densely-populated area experiencing marginalization and high youth unemployment, Kamukunji is one site of a UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) project which supports anti-corruption and countering violent extremism interventions.UNODC has been providing technical assistance in two policing communities, in Pangani and Shauri Moyo, where both stations have worked to build community trust in reporting cases of police corruption as part of improving police-community-media relationsat the local level.The area has also benefitted from UN Development Programme (UNDP) peacebuilding efforts delivered in tandem with UNODC.

"Years ago, when I was hearing about this community, I was hearing different stories, and now I see that you've been able to overcome divisions and a certain level of aggressiveness and create a cohesive community. This 'bringing together' is essential to fight those who thought the only way to solve their problems was to resort to violent extremism or terrorism," the Secretary-General said.

Other speakers at the event included the Member for Kamukunji Constituency, Hon Yusuf Hassan MP, youth representatives Fauziya Ali and Carine Umutoniwase, and a Shauri Moyo Working Committee member involved in the UNODC project, Clive Wanguthi, who held up a sign promoting the Anonymous Reporting System developed by the National Police Service's Internal Affairs Unit with support from UNODC.

Reports and compliments about police officers can be made anonymously to the Internal Affairs Unit through various platforms: toll-free number: 0800 721 230; SMS 40683; USSD *683# and website

For the one year since the system became fully operational, the Internal Affairs Unit has received more than 1,400 complaints and 360 compliments about the police. This has led to active investigations against police officers.

"This all-inclusive project is unique within the community as it was the first-time police, media and community came up with tangible strategies to build trust, counter corruption and violent extremism," Mr Wanguthi said. "Sports events, theatre and visits to schools and places of worship have delivered anti-corruption and countering violent extremism messages, in the process bringing community members, religious representatives, traders, elders, local police and the media closer together," he explained.

The UNODC Regional Representative for Eastern Africa, Dr. Amado Philip de Andrés, interacted with the UN Secretary-General and Kamukunji community representatives, including school children, present at the town hall meeting.

"UNODC supports the Government of Kenya in its efforts to stamp out violent extremism, including strategies aimed at effectively curbing the 'push' and 'pull' factors of radicalization leading to violent extremism that are being implemented at the national, county and constituency level.I hope this Town Hall serves to uplift the spirit of cooperation between many partners to create a more peaceful, inclusive community in Kamukunji Constituency on a sustainable basis, knowing that the positive changes generated here will radiate across Kenya," Dr de Andres said.

The UN Secretary-General's Plan of Action on Preventing Violent Extremism calls on Member States to establish mentoring programmes for young women and men to create space for personal growth and offer opportunities for community service which can enable them to become leaders and actors for constructive change.

The UNODC project was funded by the US Department of State's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs ( INL) and the Government of Norway.

The Secretary-General visited Kamukunji ahead of the African High-Level Conference on Counter-Terrorism and the Prevention of Violent Extremism Conductive to Terrorism taking place on 10-11 July 2019 at the UN Office at Nairobi.