I am human, I am not an Asian, Sikh, Christian, Muslim, Kenyan, Somali, I am human.
147 is not a small number, even one death makes a difference to a family, friend, child, community or the country. Why did they die and for who?
Garissa is located in North Eastern Kenya and home to mostly Somalis due to proximity to their border. On 2 April militants from Al Shabaab stormed the Garissa University opened fired and killed 147 people including the two security guards.
According to Al Jazeera “Kenya first sent its troops into neighboring Somalia in 2011 after several attacks inside its territory that it blamed on al-Shabaab. It later joined the AMISOM peacekeeping force.
Al-Shabaab has since carried out a string of attacks to punish Kenya for its intervention, including a raid on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall in September 2013 that killed at least 67 people.
Kenya responded the following November by “completely destroying” an al-Shabaab training camp about 300km west of the Somali capital Mogadishu, which was believed to have housed more than 300 al-Shabaab recruits.”
Al Shabaab is taking revenge by killing innocent lives. But wait a minute, the expression an eye for an eye comes to mind. Is there any justice in wiping out Al Shabaab? Maybe yes. But could there be an underlying violent streak from the Kenyans to the Somalis that is fuelling this revenge?
Can any peacekeeping force eliminate the enemy? Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire tried his best as Force Commander of UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda) to keep the peace between the Hutus and Tutsis. It remains a delicate balance and Kenya needs to identify its long-term objective against Al Shabaab. Terrorism is an international problem but one would have imagined a better response to the Garissa University attack since the Westgate attack from the relevant authorities. President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a statement giving a glimpse of some of the immediate changes still to be done, but is this a little too late? “I further direct the Inspector General of Police to take urgent steps and ensure that the 10,000 recruits whose enrolment is pending, promptly report for training at the Kenya Police College, Kiganko. I take full responsibility for this directive.”
I am not a security expert on which force should handle what, but when intelligence has been received on a threat to attack a “university” then what preventative measures were taken or should have been taken? In fact seeing the most wanted poster and bounty of KES 20million come out nearly the same day for Mohamed Mohamud alias (aka) dulyadin alias (aka) gamadhere is suspicious. If you knew him why hasn’t anything happened to arrest him or get him so far?
It has been over a year since the Westgate attack and so much of these basics should have been covered, attended to and prevented another horrific attack. Is the failure in the division of the security forces because of ethnicity? Even it has been known that Al Shabaab was separating Muslims from Non-Muslims at the Garissa University and carrying out their killings. Thus, are they using our weakness as the tactic to create fear, animosity and destruction? Senator Hassan Omar was interviewed by Jeff Koinange and he clearly pointed out “in Mogadishu there is no such separation, they realize that we are a currently fairly fractured, they know that we have an ethnic slant in this country, there is definitely an intention to incite religious hatred in our country, we are hiring as per tribes just to secure a 2017 win and then unfortunately we have on our hands non-performers.”
Let us not waste another second, another soul, another bullet, another breath of freedom but act and act immediately on what matters most. Better intelligence, performers in the security forces, increased security, reduce xenophobia, accept that we need better tactics to deal with an international problem at a national level, which clearly Al Shabaab has understood and is using it against us.
Humanity comes before anything. I am human.