What was supposed to be a community gathering to watch countries from all over the world compete in the World Cup turned into a bloodbath in a local bar in Mpeketoni, on the coast of Kenya.
Later events showed the men wielding the weapons were part of Somalia’s Islamist group al-Shabaab. The reasoning for their attack was that they were performing revenge killings due to the Kenyan presence in Somalia and the killing of Muslims there. It appears that the victims were of a specific ethnic group — the same one as the President — and all the Muslims were spared.
This is not the first time this part of the world has dealt with ethnic cleansing-based killings. Sudan has been experiencing such events for many years as well.
As the world progresses in what seems like a direction of acceptance and tolerance, events such as this, highlighting growing instability in Kenya, push it back. The 58 people who died for being a member of a certain ethnicity will receive no explanation for their death, and more often than not these events go under the radar of national news. This type of violation of human rights needs to be highlighted to show the presence of intolerance in so many nations.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has suggested a different idea, theorizing that the shootings were not a terrorist attack but a politically driven attack. This musing has heightened the tension between Kenyan political rivalries and complicated the security levels of a region that is already on the cusp of descending into greater violence.
Many are concerned that Kenyatta turning the attack into a commentary on the government will damage the future of the security situation. “Politicians are politicizing the security situation and it’s not good for anyone,” said J.M. Waiganjo, a member of the Kenyatta’s jubilee party and member of parliament.
Other analysts see Kenyatta’s statement as a sign that Kenyan terrorists groups are targeting the weak spots in the government’s security plan and purposely drawing lines between the opposing parties to bring down Kenya’s government.
Kenyatta has a difficult duty ahead of him as he must determine an appropriate and beneficial way to handle the terrorist threats while building levels of security that are lacking in Kenya.