Garissa University College Killings shock Kenya
April 3, 2015
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A recent article from Human Rights Watch discussed an armed attack on Garissa University College in Kenya yesterday (April 2nd, 2015). The attack confirmed at least 147 dead and 80 injured. The scale of the event was Kenya’s worst terrorist attack since the bombing of the United States Embassy in 1998 that killed 213 people. The Al-Shabaab militant group was responsible for the killings that targeted the students at the College. Al-Shabaab is an extremist group based in Somalia and the group is responsible for many armed attacks in Kenya that has resulted in approximately 800 deaths.
Regardless of Kenya’s efforts in the past to enter Somalia and put a stop against Al-Shabaab, Kenya is still a very vulnerable country that is prone to attack. “Kenya’s efforts to tackle rising insecurity have been marred by serious human right violations, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and torture by security forces” (Human Rights Watch). The international community should keep an eye on the violence in Kenya due to the fact that there has been discriminatory abuses of Muslim and ethnic Somali communities. Kenyan police also have to be wary of mistreating it’s own citizens while providing security forces after the attack regardless of the shock and anger they obtain.
An attack of this size shows the hostility and disdain for human life in Kenya. According to Leslie Lefkow, “To counter the threat effectively, Kenyan security forces should ensure a lawful response in line with human rights.” I agree with this statement, the Kenyan government has to be careful in it’s decisions on how to police this event and be even more careful in how it responds to Al-Shabaab.
Two Thursday’s ago the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, apologized to the Kenyan people for the past wrongs committed by his and past governments. The apology was taken differently by many people, however, Kenyatta was finally taking ownership of the abuses caused by post-election violence in the ’07-’08 election. Perhaps the Kenyan people should all start to unite and work together under a cohesive government after this recent attack on the Garissa University College. The apology can be used to spark a unity in Kenya that is so desperately needed in order to prevent future terrorist attacks that are easily penetrating the country.