African Press Association

Scores killed in Kenya reign of terror

From MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – THE Islamist Al-Shabaab terror group has killed at least 16 lives in the past month as Kenya prepares for watershed polls. The killings have been rife in northeastern Kenya where at least six
police officers have recently been slain. A school teacher has been killed and another abducted in Garissa. Attackers have either detonated improvised explosive devises or raided public institutions with guns and explosives, largely targeting security personnel and non-locals.Legislators have warned residents were likely to acquire weapons to defend themselves as the government appeared failing to contain ongoing terror.“The government must protect people in the region or they should allow us to protect ourselves,” said Garissa women representative, Shukran Gure. Rights groups said as Kenya prepares for elections on August 8, ongoing insecurity was likely to inhibit participation in the vote.“The government’s seeming inability to prevent Al-Shabab violence may discourage people from holding or attending campaign rallies and participating on voting day,” warned Human Rights Watch’s Otsieno Namwaya. He said rather than investigate attacks and seek to proactively protect communities from Al-Shabaab, Kenya had often responded with abusive law enforcement operations, including reprisals in neighborhoods where attacks occur.“Given the importance of the campaign period, it’s more critical than ever for the authorities to act decisively and lawfully to protect people in Al-Shabab affected areas,” said Namwaya. Al-Shabab, based largely in neighboring Somalia to the east, has claimed responsibility for many attacks in Kenya in recent years.This includes the massacre of at least 147 students at Garissa University College in April 2015.
–CAJ News