Showing posts tagged as "Kenya"

Showing posts tagged Kenya

7 May

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16 Apr

The security sweep – at one point 6,000 police descended on Eastleigh and neighbouring Majengo and Pangani – and mass arrests are particularly poignant for Kenyans of Somali heritage, a significant minority population whose districts were for long years under a state of emergency.

—Cedric Barnes, “Losing Hearts and Minds in Kenya”

The security sweep – at one point 6,000 police descended on Eastleigh and neighbouring Majengo and Pangani – and mass arrests are particularly poignant for Kenyans of Somali heritage, a significant minority population whose districts were for long years under a state of emergency.

—Cedric Barnes, “Losing Hearts and Minds in Kenya

Losing Hearts and Minds in Kenya | Cedric Barnes (@CedricHOA)
The round-up and mass detention of Somalis in Nairobi, which began in earnest on 31 March, deliberately conflated immigration issues with counter-terrorism and has widened dangerous communal divides. Al-Shabaab and its extremist allies in Kenya will be very satisfied. What the attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall last September failed to do – sow division among Kenyans – might well be achieved by these detentions and deportations. This month’s events brought out the worst in Kenya, from the prejudice shown, especially in social media, by ordinary citizens, to petty point scoring by the political class, to police extortion of bribes from lawfully resident Somalis, to the extrajudicial execution of the controversial Muslim preacher known as Makaburi (“graveyard”).
The terrorist threat is real enough. In March, security forces seized a pick-up truck packed with explosives, reportedly part of a planned multi-pronged attack in Mombasa. (Authorities believed the truck was one of several devices.) Soon thereafter, armed gunmen killed six worshipers at a Christian Church in the Likoni area of Mombasa. There was also a spate of grenade attacks targeting Christians, and claiming another six lives, in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh, where people of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds live side by side.
The Westgate mall attack killed indiscriminately and brought a unified response: private Kenyan citizens, including of Somali origin, were applauded for their individual heroism and community support, and the nation, led by President Kenyatta, stood as one. By contrast, the recent attacks were targeted and the government’s security operations in response quickly exposed divides between majority and minority communities, even between MPs within the ruling Jubilee coalition. The operations also drew a belated but firm response from the opposition Orange Democratic Coalition.
FULL ARTICLE (Crisis Group’s Blog: The African Peace-building Agenda)
Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Losing Hearts and Minds in Kenya | Cedric Barnes (@CedricHOA)

The round-up and mass detention of Somalis in Nairobi, which began in earnest on 31 March, deliberately conflated immigration issues with counter-terrorism and has widened dangerous communal divides. Al-Shabaab and its extremist allies in Kenya will be very satisfied. What the attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall last September failed to do – sow division among Kenyans – might well be achieved by these detentions and deportations. This month’s events brought out the worst in Kenya, from the prejudice shown, especially in social media, by ordinary citizens, to petty point scoring by the political class, to police extortion of bribes from lawfully resident Somalis, to the extrajudicial execution of the controversial Muslim preacher known as Makaburi (“graveyard”).

The terrorist threat is real enough. In March, security forces seized a pick-up truck packed with explosives, reportedly part of a planned multi-pronged attack in Mombasa. (Authorities believed the truck was one of several devices.) Soon thereafter, armed gunmen killed six worshipers at a Christian Church in the Likoni area of Mombasa. There was also a spate of grenade attacks targeting Christians, and claiming another six lives, in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh, where people of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds live side by side.

The Westgate mall attack killed indiscriminately and brought a unified response: private Kenyan citizens, including of Somali origin, were applauded for their individual heroism and community support, and the nation, led by President Kenyatta, stood as one. By contrast, the recent attacks were targeted and the government’s security operations in response quickly exposed divides between majority and minority communities, even between MPs within the ruling Jubilee coalition. The operations also drew a belated but firm response from the opposition Orange Democratic Coalition.

FULL ARTICLE (Crisis Group’s Blog: The African Peace-building Agenda)

Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

"In the space of little more than a week, Kenyan Somalis (almost 2 million people), along with half a million refugees and migrants, have found themselves to be in a targeted class."

—Cedric Barnes, “Losing Hearts and Minds in Kenya”, The African Peacebuilding Agenda

12 Nov
"Indeed, thanks to some canny framing of the issue, the ICC indictment proved to be what Bryan Kahumbura, a Horn of Africa Analyst at the International Crisis Group (ICG), has termed a ‘fortunate misfortune.’"

ThinkAfrica Press

25 Sep
Kenya Attack Unfolded In Up and Down Twitter Feeds | Lori Hinnant
As the deadly attack unfolded inside Kenya’s Westgate mall, the militants who claimed responsibility for the spreading mayhem sent out tweet after tweet, taunting the Kenyan military, defending the mass killings and threatening more bloodshed.
Each time Twitter shut the account down — a total of five times, according to a U.S.-based security analyst — al-Shabab started a new feed. The sixth account included a post on Tuesday linking to a photo that purported to be two of the attackers “unruffled and strolling around the mall in such sangfroid manner” and mocking Kenya’s security forces for their repeated assurances over two days — also tweeted — that the siege was nearly over.
FULL ARTICLE (AP) 
Photo: Johan Larsson/Flickr

Kenya Attack Unfolded In Up and Down Twitter Feeds | Lori Hinnant

As the deadly attack unfolded inside Kenya’s Westgate mall, the militants who claimed responsibility for the spreading mayhem sent out tweet after tweet, taunting the Kenyan military, defending the mass killings and threatening more bloodshed.

Each time Twitter shut the account down — a total of five times, according to a U.S.-based security analyst — al-Shabab started a new feed. The sixth account included a post on Tuesday linking to a photo that purported to be two of the attackers “unruffled and strolling around the mall in such sangfroid manner” and mocking Kenya’s security forces for their repeated assurances over two days — also tweeted — that the siege was nearly over.

FULL ARTICLE (AP) 

Photo: Johan Larsson/Flickr

Kenyan officials say Nairobi mall siege is over; attack may bolster al-Shabab in jihadists’ eyes | Sudarsan Raghavan
The bloody siege of an upscale mall by Islamist militants ended Tuesday with five of the attackers dead and 11 taken into custody, amid fears that the death toll of more than 60 civilians could substantially rise when authorities begin searching through the wreckage.
“As a nation, our head is bloodied but unbowed,” Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a televised address, declaring three days of mourning. “We have ashamed and defeated our attackers.”
FULL ARTICLE (Washington Post)
Photo: Uhuru Kenyatta/Flickr

Kenyan officials say Nairobi mall siege is over; attack may bolster al-Shabab in jihadists’ eyes | Sudarsan Raghavan

The bloody siege of an upscale mall by Islamist militants ended Tuesday with five of the attackers dead and 11 taken into custody, amid fears that the death toll of more than 60 civilians could substantially rise when authorities begin searching through the wreckage.

“As a nation, our head is bloodied but unbowed,” Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a televised address, declaring three days of mourning. “We have ashamed and defeated our attackers.”

FULL ARTICLE (Washington Post)

Photo: Uhuru Kenyatta/Flickr

Kenya’s Brutal Coming of Age | Cedric Barnes
The terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall, in the center of this increasingly prosperous — for some at least — capital, is a cruelly ironic indicator of the arrival of Kenya as a serious regional power, a hub for international business and diplomacy, and a target for international Islamic armed radicals.
Even more so than the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies here and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the deadly mall attack — a four-day siege that began on Saturday and resulted in at least 60 deaths — is a reminder of Kenya’s coming of age. It heralds a difficult period for a country waging a war that is at once beyond its borders and very close to home.
FULL ARTICLE (New York Times)
Photo: United States Marine Corps/Wikimedia Commons

Kenya’s Brutal Coming of Age | Cedric Barnes

The terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall, in the center of this increasingly prosperous — for some at least — capital, is a cruelly ironic indicator of the arrival of Kenya as a serious regional power, a hub for international business and diplomacy, and a target for international Islamic armed radicals.

Even more so than the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies here and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the deadly mall attack — a four-day siege that began on Saturday and resulted in at least 60 deaths — is a reminder of Kenya’s coming of age. It heralds a difficult period for a country waging a war that is at once beyond its borders and very close to home.

FULL ARTICLE (New York Times)

Photo: United States Marine Corps/Wikimedia Commons

23 Sep
'This is not Kenya's war' | James Reinl
When she heard the first crackle of shots, Fiona Herbert thought she was listening to fireworks, rather than the bullets that signalled the start of a bloody siege on an upmarket shopping mall here in Kenya’s capital.
The 34-year-old Briton, who lives in Kenya, described chaotic scenes as she grabbed her baby son and darted out of the ground-floor cafe, fleeing with other shoppers into a furniture shop, jamming a chair behind the door and ducking into a store room.
Outside, around a dozen masked attackers tossed grenades and shot shoppers in the head, using pistols and assault rifles, ostensibly to advance the cause of al-Shabaab, an armed Somali outfit with links to al-Qaeda and ambitions to topple their country’s UN-backed government.
FULL ARTICLE (Al Jazeera English) 
Photo: hktang/Flickr

'This is not Kenya's war' | James Reinl

When she heard the first crackle of shots, Fiona Herbert thought she was listening to fireworks, rather than the bullets that signalled the start of a bloody siege on an upmarket shopping mall here in Kenya’s capital.

The 34-year-old Briton, who lives in Kenya, described chaotic scenes as she grabbed her baby son and darted out of the ground-floor cafe, fleeing with other shoppers into a furniture shop, jamming a chair behind the door and ducking into a store room.

Outside, around a dozen masked attackers tossed grenades and shot shoppers in the head, using pistols and assault rifles, ostensibly to advance the cause of al-Shabaab, an armed Somali outfit with links to al-Qaeda and ambitions to topple their country’s UN-backed government.

FULL ARTICLE (Al Jazeera English) 

Photo: hktang/Flickr

Nairobi attack, “Kenyan-grown plot” | Radio France Internationale

Somalia’s Shebab insurgents have claimed responsibility for the attack in Nairobi. But Kenyan army chief Julius Karangi has said the gunmen were of different nationalities. Many foreign fighters, including Somalis with dual citizenships are members of the Shebab. But analyst Cedric Barnes, the Horn of Africa director of the International Crisis Group, says the siege of the Westgate mall bears the hallmarks of al Qaeda. He spoke to RFI’s Nicolas Champeaux. 

FULL INTERVIEW (Radio France Internationale)