Kenya and the entire region are mourning in the wake of yet another terror attack on the country. Islamist group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack on a Kenyan college in the north-eastern part of the country. About 150 people are believed to have been killed and many others taken hostage at Garissa University College.
More than 500 students were still unaccounted for in the Garissa attack that is just another stat on what is becoming a serious headache for regional governments. In December, last year, gunmen killed 36 quarry workers in Mandera after separating Muslims and non-Muslims.
A month earlier, gunmen killed 28 non-Muslim passengers during an attack on a bus in Mandera. These events follow another major attack on Kenya where, in September 2013, four gunmen took over the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, killing 67 people.
These attacks are not just against Kenya and its citizens but also the region and the continent as a whole. What do the terrorists want? Nothing but to fulfill a pervasive mind that has given in to brainwashing.
Terror is not just the killing; it is also that overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety. No society functions when the people who make it up are gripped in wanton dread of the unknown.
These events and the way evil is engulfing our societies call for everyone’s efforts, including of the common man, toward fighting terror. It should no longer be about Kenya; if anything, the East African Community (EAC) should urgently come up with drastic measures on how to jointly counter terrorism in the region.
The citizens should keep hope alive in these trying times. Evil is besieging the world but evil is like wind – it does not last long however devastating its impact can be. All it takes to repulse it is goodwill of human beings.
It’s time for a concerted effort to put up that good fight. Terrorists can be lurking anywhere. Vigilance is the keyword in this fight.
Yesterday’s barbaric attack on students in Kenya is a reminder of the dire need for the five EAC partner states, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and indeed the wider region, to take their collaboration in efforts against terrorism in the region to another level. Terrorism must be stopped!