We have years of experience in preventing and countering violent extremism and violent crime with an emphasis on:
 Mentorship hereby including; peer to peer mentorship, role model mentorship and modeled mentorship
 Awareness creation and building the capacity of communities, families, teachers, peers etc to identify early warning indicators and mitigating avenues in those who are being recruited in criminal gangs and extremists groups.
 Identification of vulnerable persons and providing linkages with social, economic and religious opportunities.
 Utilization of vast community knowledge, networks and unrivalled understanding of the ever changing youth dynamics and engagements.
 Rehabilitation and re-integration of former violent extremists and violent criminals regardless of the drivers whether Ideological, financial, Social etc.
Our staffs are always updated in the latest Online and Offline trends around the World and we utilize the same for creatively targeted narratives and messaging. We utilize both traditional and new media to not only influence policy and create awareness but also programs that directly and indirectly disseminate strategic information.
We utilize Sports and Arts (Including Music, Short Movies etc) to disseminate strategic messages and also give the youth including the vulnerable to utilize their talents or learn skills for economic sustenance and also build social cohesion while enhancing their knowledge on P/CVE, Violent Crime and Human Trafficking. Our Sports activities range from the formal professional to very creative informal sporting activities for targeted messaging.
We boast of vast network of credible partners in different Countries around the World.
Throughout the years and in our engagements we have managed to cultivate and nurture immense trust, respect and credibility in more often very volatile communities, neighbourhoods and persons we have also managed to build the same between other organizations and their targets, law enforcement, government administration etc and communities.
FG2G Engages within a framework and policy of DO NO HARM.
Our input and experience in P/CVE, Violent crime, Youth and informal communities, have proved to be invaluable in many Kenyan and International engagements as key Panelist, facilitator, Moderator, Mobilizer or just participants.

Countering Violent Extremism: A different perspective

First Published by the Daily Nation and The Standard by Robert Ochola on 14 March, 2016

I remember when a group of us would look over the graveyard near our homes in Kariokor, fighting back tears as we mourned yet another friend who had been shot dead in the seemingly endless gun battles between police and gangs in Eastlands. After too many lives lost in Nairobi, with two neighbourhood friends we resolved to work out ways to fight the gang threat.

Today, the menace is different. When I met Jamal Ali two years ago in a Pumwani cafe, he was barely out of his teens. He was easily susceptible to the heady cocktail of camaraderie, status and purpose being offered by some extremists. Hit by a barrage of their false promises and propaganda – and without alternative leaders to turn to – he eventually gave in to their persuasion. When the law caught up with him he was locked up for two years. After being released he was spurned by many and confused about where to go next. I talked with him at that crucial time, when he was on the verge of being drawn back by the recruiters, and saw an opportunity to turn his life around.
There are many teenagers and young men who are from humble backgrounds like him. Every story is different. Some grew up with absent fathers, others missed out on schooling and got pulled into small crime, and others failed to create the life expected of them. Yet, there are solutions and ways to engage the youth, such as peer-to-peer mentorship and role modeling. Creating and fostering conversation, especially positive interaction with law enforcement and community and religious leaders, can help to create purpose and aspirations.
First and foremost, the country needs more trusted guides to help vulnerable young people grow up in high-risk neighbourhoods, especially in the areas where youth easily end up in gangs and extremist groups. Religion, especially Islam, can offer hope with attractive ideas of justice, equality and purpose. But the number of converts is increasing everyday and radicals have taken advantage of this. Extremists are organised to easily bewitch the vulnerable new converts with false and extremist beliefs, so we need our own army of mentors to keep them at bay.
It seems many people in Kenya are searching for the answer of how to counter the extremist menace. Sports events like the annual Kothbiro Football Tournament which attracts thousands of spectators and hundreds of players from all of Kenya’s communities. These activities are about more than football. The field in Ziwani Estate where many of the matches are played may be small and dusty – and muddy in the rains – but it is where stories of heroism and comradeship are made. Friendships are created, and goals scored. Joined in a common purpose, it brings together people who otherwise are divided.
There are some who think the youth, particularly those from underprivileged areas, are inevitably prone to violence and do not deserve to have their voice heard. Yet, when police and local government administrators speak to the community and everyone gets to hear and ask questions, the youth listen and it can bring progress. When church leaders and Imams speak to the youth, and they speak about real issues that can bring change, however small, that makes a real difference.
Last April, Kenya was shocked to realize that someone with all the promise and privilege of a young man like Abdirahim Mohammed Abdullahi could plot the Garissa University attack. Yet, for every lucky Abdirahim there are ten guys pulled in from marginalized and forgotten communities to serve as cannon fodder for the extremists’ war of hate. The lost generations of youth whose lives are taken away are also the victims of violence. All over the world the common fate for a young guy who has been radicalized is that they die or end-up in prison for the rest of their days.
In Kenya, the growing population of young men and women that I speak to daily are anxious about their life and feel left behind by the onward march of national growth and changes in society. When I spoke recently to the UN about violence and extremism I emphasized how there are so many opportunities to convert the immense energy of the youth, and their desire to support themselves and their families, into something positive.
Today, those growing into adults in Kenya need to have more opportunities to come together through sports and other activities, and speak with leaders. The youth need more opportunities to work out their differences and unite, to make stories together, to grow a national vision of hope for a common future. This way we can keep the youth out of the graves, and they can help make a safer Kenya.




Somalis in Kenya: How long will the Welcome last?

First Published by Robert Ochola on 24 November, 2012

Finger pointing has turned to fist fights as Kenyans visibly becoming frustrated of frequent grenade and small bombs terrorists’ attacks in the Country are turning their anger on the fast growing Somali community in Nairobi.

A Kenyan against Somali war is playing out in a neighbourhood in the capital city after a terrorist attack on a bus on Sunday the 18th of November left seven people dead and tens more injured. The bus which was heading towards Kariobangi, an informal settlement was attacked in Eastleigh an area dominated by Somalis. Police reports say the powerful blast that ripped apart the Public Service Vehicle, could have been caused by a hand held grenade or an improvised bomb planted in the bus.
As the smoke cleared and bodies moved from the scene, scores of people who had gathered around started pointing fingers at Somalis, accusing them of bringing terrorist group Al-Shabaab into the country which was to blame for the many attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and Garissa and have majorly been targeting Churches and Pubs.
The shouting’s and accusations suddenly turned violent as Somalis were spontaneously attacked by the gathered persons mostly who come from the neighboring areas including the sprawling Mathare slums, Mlango kubwa and Huruma all of which harbor poor and low-income earners.
The day after the attacks witnessed a whole day of fighting as Somalis also decided to arm themselves with swords and knives. There were no serious casualties but many Somali owned shops were looted and property destroyed. An attempt to burn and loot a Mosque were thwarted as anti-riot police swarmed the area.
Were all these happening as a result of locals getting fed up with Terrorist attacks?? Is it only because of Kenyans frustrations over Somalis on their presumed support and sympathy of Al-Shabaab?? To a large extent it is due to the loss of life and especially of persons who come from local communities but there is also another underlying issue, Socio-Economics.
Somalis in Eastleigh are far much wealthier than their local counterparts who are living either in the vast estate or in adjacent neighbourhoods. Fifteen years ago the area was inhabited by different communities including Kenyans of Somali origin. Due to the latter, most Somali refugees coming into the Country went and settled in Eastleigh.
Suddenly there was a huge demand for housing and rent soared as the Somalis paid whatever Landlords wanted. Many locals were thus thrown out of their houses as greedy Landlords wanted to cash in too. Massive soft and hard evictions took place as more and more Somalis came into the City. Locals were forced to move to adjacent slums or other informal settlements.
Slowly Somalis started buying off houses and buildings at an “ask any price and I pay’ then converting them to highrise apartments, flats, shopping malls and classy hotels. On the streets it was claimed that terrorist organizations and Piracy money was linked to this phenomenal growth.
As Eastleigh was transformed completely into a small Somali Business and residential hub thus the nickname “Small Mogadishu,” locals were left to fend off by being employed as casual laborers mainly carrying heavy loads and under un-informal condition that they were to be Muslims or convert to Islam.
The sudden opulence and wealth of the Somali brought in other businesses too as all major banks and financial institutions rushed in to open branches and accounts tailor made for them. Through a project known as Public-Private partnership development, almost 95% of public economic, Health and social utilities were sold to Somalis. Even Public officials and members of the provincial administrations were not spared as their offices were sold off.
All these left a sour taste on locals and pockets of anger started developing and plots of revenge and taking back “What’s ours” frequented the lips of persons evicted or economically thrown off Eastleigh.
In January 2010, there was a demonstration in the Central Business District of the City by Muslims against the Government for arresting a radical Muslim cleric Abdulah El-Faisal. The demonstration turned violent when hawkers, traders and others attacked the demonstrators thinking it was a Somali only issue because they were the majority. One person was killed that afternoon and fingers were pointed to the Somalis who enraged the locals more by flying an Al-Shabaab flag.
The attacks after the Sunday blast were not targeted at Muslims per-se but at Somalis who are accused of bringing to the Country a Terrorist Organization that went as far as recruiting hundreds of local Youth and also causing serious Socio-Economic deprivation of so many ethnic Kenyans. If the Somalis and locals won’t get into an integrating process sooner rather than later the battles soon will turn to an all-out war played in the streets of Kenyan cities and towns. Many Somalis will be on the run again as many ran from Somalia because of being persecuted by Al-Shabaab itself.


The shooting of Sheikh Rogo

First Published by Robert Ochola on http://theafricanists.info on 29 August, 2012

An unknown gunman short dead Sheikh Rogo, a Muslim cleric who was been able to stir emotions on either side of the divide. Riots followed his shooting in Kenya’s second city, the port town of Mombasa.
Street Radio looks into his death and the resulting riots.
“Why die shamelessly of crime whilst you can join Al-Shabaab get paid and die fighting for religion, your family also gets their cut when you have been buried?” That is the main line of questioning by the recruiting agents of Al Shabaab in Da hood. Kenya has a large population of Youth who are idle and unemployed; this has given room for extremist organizations to bloom. Al-Shabaab is the most beneficial using religion and money to entice recruits.
Al-Shabaab has been on a recruiting spree in Kenya especially targeting disgruntled and hopeless youth in underprivileged and informal settlements especially in Nairobi, Garissa and Mombasa. Their sympathizers, who are also being blamed for the ongoing chaos, have been growing by numbers.
The skirmishes started spontaneously but later on took a more dangerous and seemingly organized manner when the grenade was hurled at the Police lorry. Grenade attacks have been synonymous with Al-Shabaab terrorist attacks in Kenya.
After two day of rioting the tension was still very high despite Kenya Police assurances that they have the situation under control. Suspicion is high between neighbours and there’s an informal curfew at night. A man, whose hardware shop was looted and burnt, had to solicit close friends to keep vigil at his other businesses.
Kenya has witnessed a couple of ethnic violence including deadly the 2007/08 post-election chaos but sectarian violence has been minimal and minor. Just recently, two Churches were attacked and worshippers killed in the predominantly Muslim North-Eastern Province that borders Somalia. Muslims faithful’s volunteered and offered security to Churches in the area for the next couple of weeks.
Sheikh Rogo who was recognized by the United Nations and the US as Al-Shabaab’s chief agent in Kenya was shot near Bamburi on the Mombasa-Malindi highway as he drove his wife to hospital.
Rioters in Mombasa said they suspect the Kenyan police of killing the fiery preacher Aboud Rogo Mohammed. The Kenya Police however says Kenyan supporters of the Somali terror group Al Shabaab were behind the violence that broke out Monday, August 27.
Kenya has a long history of extrajudicial killings, from the murder of the politicians Tom Mboya and J.M. Kariuki under the first President Jomo Kenyatta to the killings of supporters of the Mungiki sect in recent years. Many residents of Nairobi have seen how alleged criminals were executed during their arrest. The UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston said a few years ago the Kenyan police “are out of control”.
After the attack on the U.S. embassy in 1998 and at a tourist hotel north of Mombasa in 2002, the Muslim population of the coast feels under collective suspicion. Both Kenyan and American agents of the secret services arrested and interrogated suspects. Following the 2006 takeover of Somalia by Islamic radicals the security focus on the coast was intensified. The Muslims started thinking to be in bad books in Kenya.
Since 2007, according to a report by Human Rights Watch, ninety suspected of ties to Islamic radicals in the region were secretly abducted and extradited to Ethiopia, where they were interrogated by Ethiopian and U.S. agents. Some of them, such as the Kenyan Muhammad Abdul Malik, only reappeared at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. detention centre in Cuba.
Like the Americans the Kenyan police do things according to their own rules. Since early this year at least four Kenyan suspects linked to Al Shabaab have “disappeared“. Terror suspects Samir Hashim Kahn and Kassim Mohamed Bekhit were kidnapped in Mombasa when they were taken out of a matatu (public transport). The body of Kahn was found in April this year in the game park Tsavo, Kassim is still missing. Kahn, Kassim and the now murdered Rogo had cases going on against them in the Kenyan courts for alleged links with terrorists. Rogo was previously associated with the attacks in 1998 and 2002, but due to lack of evidence was never convicted.
Two other suspects, Sylvester Opiyo and Yaqub Musyoka, had to report in May to the police in Molo to provide information on “activities of Al Shabaab in Kenya”. They were never seen again.
It seems a long established trend. When the police a few years back fought against the sometimes murderous Mungiki adherents, an estimated 300 members of the sect “disappeared”. Some bodies were found just outside Nairobi in the Ngong hills, over the years a traditional dumping ground for Kenyan opponents.


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