Opinion

Gangs on rise in Shirkat suburb

By Monytul-jr Manyang

The number of gangs is on rise across the country with gang related violence. There seems to be no sign of curbing gang activities anytime soon.

Shirkat, a suburb of approximately 10,000 people represent a microcosm of the city gang situation. Neighborhoods based streets gangs or streets crews in Shirkat are involved in criminal activities ranging from narcotic trafficking to streets robberies. They are known to use violence and intimidation to ensure respect, protect their crew and support illegal activities.

The stereotypical media image for gang is only partially accurate.

The issue of gang violence in Shirkat is a very serious one and it is one that has plagued the communities for a very long time, lives have been destroyed by a mere presence of the gangs and crimes that come along with it.

With peer pressure being the core of the youths joining the gangs, factors such as poverty and inequality are some of the challenges that communities in the suburb face and it is predominantly because of this factors that a lot of young people in the area are finding themselves joining the gangs and being exploited by adults and older kids in this gangs and in a lot of instances, in the community at large.

Children are being used in a way that is detrimental to their well-being and development and make them to live a life of crime that will almost be impossible to leave, not only physically but also emotionally.

In addition to that, it perpetuates the continuation of poverty in their lives and reduces any chances they might have for a better life.

It cannot be denied that the violence in Shirkat can be classified as war or at the very least conflict and calls for military intervention have been necessitated by the allegation that the police are not effectively equipped to deal with the scenario.

The military option is not a decision the community should come lightly as the implications of this can be grave for the civilians in this communities and most especially children.

Whether the course of the action turn out to be regarding the eradication of this gangs, one thing remain certain, gangs have waged war on our communities and they have enlisted out children who are being used as assassin and guns for hire and this problem does not appear to be ending but instead, it appears to be worsening and we need to come together as a community and the government to end this reign of terror on our children and protect their future.  

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