AFRICA/KENYA - After the attack more clashes in "Little Mogadishu" in Nairobi: disturbing signals on the eve of the elections

Monday, 19 November 2012

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - New inter-community clashes broke out in Nairobi, in the Eastleigh neighborhood, after the attack on Sunday, November 18 that caused seven deaths and several injuries. A bomb exploded on a bus that was passing in the neighborhood, nicknamed "Little Mogadishu" because of the presence of a large Somali community. It seems that the Somalis are the object of the anger of the population, because they are accused of protecting the bombers that are thought to be linked to the extremist Shabaab.
"This is the second attack that occurs in the same area, after the one that hit a place of Christian worship (see Fides 1/10/2012) and now the people protest. After the attack, the population attacked the Somalis (who are mostly of Kenyan nationality), but the police did everything possible to defend and restore calm " says to Fides Agency, Fr. Alfonso Poppi, a missionary of the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, who has been living and working in Kenya for years.
The missionary notes that "when elections approach clashes occur that raise the tension.
We recall the recent killing of 40 policemen in the Baragoi area (see Fides 13 and 14 November 2012) and the massacre in September of more than 100 people in Tana River District (see Fides 13/09/2012). " "Peace is at risk," stresses the missionary. "In many cases, violence does not come from the people, but are caused by unscrupulous politicians who manipulate poorly educated people to sow chaos." The presidential elections will be held in March 2013.
"Even the death of more than 40 policemen leaves many perplexed," says Fr. Alfonso. "It is true that there have long been tensions between the tribes of farmers in the area, but they had never attacked the police in that way. Kenyan newspapers stated that the policemen, many of whom were untrained recruits, were hit by snipers firing from 2 km away, while their victims were crossing a valley in the open."
"They are all ominous signs of the presence of organized force, ready to sow chaos and tension. It is a very fluid situation and we need to pray a lot. We are carrying out the work of education of the people to reconciliation and peace, " concluded Fr. Alfonso. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 19/11/2012)