Christians and Muslims in Kenya Demand Government Do More to Fight Terrorism

A survivor of an attack by islamist gunmen claimed by al-Shabab on a university campus in Garissa, northern Kenya, is comforted by a colleague after arriving in Nairobi on April 4. (Photo: Tony Karumba, AFP/Getty Images)
A survivor of an attack by islamist gunmen claimed by al-Shabab on a university campus in Garissa, northern Kenya, is comforted by a colleague after arriving in Nairobi on April 4. (Photo: Tony Karumba, AFP/Getty Images)

As families and friends of the Garissa University attack victims lined-up at the Nyayo National Stadium to provide details of their loved ones, pressure mounted on the government to fight terrorists who have pledged further attacks on the country.

“We’ll not (stand for) continuing losing our children in cold blood because the government has failed to protect them,” lawmaker Chris Wamalwa visiting families at the Stadium.

He blamed anti-terrorist police unit for failing to prevent the attack and urged the president to disband the unit and form another tasked fighting terrorism. Lawmakers also called for increased cross-border surveillance – the terrorists are believed to be of Somali origin, according to police.

In the aftermath of Thursday’s attack allegedly by al-Shabaab militants on Garissa University that killed 148, some Kenyans called for unity in the country – Muslims make up about 11 percent of Kenya’s population.

“It was a terror attack, and not a religious war,” said lawmaker Raila Odinga. “We must deal with it appropriately now.”

On Saturday, the Kenyan Muslim community in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area took to the streets in protest against terrorism in their name – the attackers singled out Christians at the school, according to witness accounts.

“We want to condemn the attack and urge the government to take security seriously and take actions against terrorist suspects,” said Ishmael Abdul, of the community. “We’ll not sit and see terrorists divide this country.”

About nine suspects captured over the weekend remain in custody with law enforcement continuing to search for others involved in Thursday’s attack. On Friday, police in Mombasa arrested four suspected terrorists they believe were planning to attack City Mall in Nyali as they drove in, according to Mombasa county commissioner Nelson Marwa.

The son of a Kenyan government official, Abdirahim Mohammed Abdullahi, has been identified as one of the gunmen involved in the shootings.

His father had reported his son missing last year and said he feared that he had gone to Somalia, said Njoka.

“We want to warn terrorists that that we won’t spare them if arrested,” said Willy Mutunga, president of the Kenyan judiciary. “We’ll prosecute them accordingly.”

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SOURCE: Tonny Onyulo
USA TODAY

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