Terrorist Attacks In Kenya: Many Unanswered Questions Years On, Grief And Pain!
July. 16, 2020
From way back when, Kenya has been attacked severally by terrorist groups, which left many dead, and many others crippled, among other major effects.
Back in 1998, Auguts 7, the United States Embassy in Nairobi was bombed by al-Qaeda, leaving many people dead, and those who were old enough to recall what happened then, will tell you that things were bad.
To date, families who were affected have never moved on. Hearts are still bleeding. Some memories still fresh!
In 2013, Islamist militants hit the Westgate mall in Nairobi, an attack that was equally dreadful, and which left 67 people dead and more than 200 wounded.
Many will remember watching on national television the four-day siege, others were there personally, and that experience that left many suffering physically, psychologically and in other ways still has many unanswered questions.
Somali Islamist group Al-Shabab said it had attacked the mall because Kenya sent troops to Somalia to bolster the UN-backed government.
Kenya's military spokesman named four of the gunmen as Abu Baara al-Sudani, Omar Nabhan, Khattab al-Kene and Umayr.
"I confirm those are the names of the terrorists," Major Emmanuel Chirchir tweeted at the time.
The government promised to pay compensation to survivors and help settle their medical bills, but a report by BBC Africa indicates that this has not happened fully.
On 3 April 2015, four gunmen stormed Kenya's Garissa University College and began firing indiscriminately.
The attackers singled out and shot those identified as Christians as they roamed from building to building.
148 people were killed, many of whom were students.
Security forces eventually surrounded and killed the men. Again, Al-Shabab said it was behind the terror attack, the second deadliest in Kenyan history.
According to reports, students were getting ready for morning prayers when the shooting began at about 05:00 local time.
Gunmen first killed two security guards on the gate before entering the campus and opening fire.
They moved through administrative buildings and classrooms to the dormitories. Almost 900 students were reportedly at the university.
KDF managed to clear three of the four dormitories, helping more than 580 people to escape. At least 79 people were injured.
After almost 16 hours, the four attackers were eventually surrounded and killed in one of the women's halls.
On January 15, 2019, a group of terrorists carried out a deadly attack against 14 Riverside Drive, an office complex in Nairobi's upscale Westlands neighborhood that also hosts the Dusit D2 luxury hotel. During the course of the overnight siege, 21 people were killed and at least 28 injured.
The attack began at about 15:00 local time when four gunmen threw bombs at vehicles in the car park before entering the lobby, where one blew himself up, police say.
Security camera footage showed at least four heavily armed men walking in and opening fire.
Those are the major ones. There have been a number of other minor suspected al-Shabab attacks in Kenya over the year.
Quite unfortunate. The big question now is, years on, how are the victims doing? Does the government check on these people?
Have majority of them been compensated? Where are they right now?
These and many other questions are what Kenyans and the world at large are still asking.
Aljazeera spoke to a lady known as Tabitha Mwangi, the head of the security programme at the Centre for International and Security Affairs, attacks such as the one against the base hosting US soldiers seek "to make the group appear stronger than it is."
She added that the government is working hard to keep the country safe, pointing to the recent arrest of three men suspected of trying to break into a UK army camp in central Kenya.
The publication also spoke to a victim of one of the attacks, identified as Mwikali, who had this to say:
"I feel like the government hasn't learned," she said. "My mum is a survivor of the [al-Qaeda-claimed] 1998 US Embassy bombing in Nairobi, I'm a survivor of this (Dusit attack) - more needs to be done."
KDF and other forces in East Africa has sadly been unable to destroy al-Shabab, which remains active in the region- and in particular in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, where it killed nearly 600 people in a lorry explosion in October 2017 - the deadliest bomb attack in the country!
We can only hope and pray that all the affected families and victims will get full compensation, and somehow be able to heal from the experiences, because until now, years later, the victims are still hit by grief and pain after the deadly attacks!