Nairobi attack: Kenya will remain target as long as troops in Somalia
Word of an attack first spread through Twitter, as it so often does.
“Does anyone know what's happening in Riverside? There's been an explosion and what sounds like gunshots.”
“14 Riverside is under attack. There are gunshots and explosions.”
Citizen TV Kenya arrived on the scene and started streaming. Soon most of Nairobi knew that gunmen had blasted their way through security and detonated a suicide bomb in the lobby of the upscale DusitD2 hotel at 14 Riverside Drive, a complex that also houses a cluster of businesses including banks, restaurants and retail establishments. Friends and loved ones of those trapped inside gathered anxiously at the police perimeter, glued to their phones as periodic gunshots and blasts echoed from within.
The name “Al Shabab” was on everyone’s lips long before the terror group claimed responsibility.
The next 24 hours felt familiar for anyone who had lived through the Westgate Mall attack in 2013 or the Garissa University massacre of 2015. Ambulances screamed toward Kenyatta Hospital. The Inspector General went on television to assure citizens that an operation was well underway to secure the area and that they were “mopping up” – only for gunfire to continue well into the dawn. Residents lined up to donate blood. Devastated families arrived at Chiromo Mortuary to identify the bodies.
The official death toll climbed from one to 14. President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the nation on Wednesday morning, said all of the terrorists had been eliminated, praised the “quick and effective response,” and vowed justice.
“We will seek out every single person that was involved in the funding, planning and execution of the heinous act,” he said. “We will pursue them relentlessly wherever they will be until they are held to account.”
A security and policy analyst who specialises in the Horn of Africa, Abdullahi Boru Halakhe, said this type of rhetoric avoids addressing a central question: Why Kenya is being attacked in the first place.
Read the full article at The National.