AFRICA/KENYA - "The massacre in Mandera is part of a long sequence of blood", says the Bishop of Garissa

Friday, 7 October 2016 armed groups   persecutions  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "Once again workers from other parts of Kenya were hit, in a terrorist attack which recalls other attacks committed by the Shabaab in the area, whose victims have always been foreign workers. The targets are always people in the hinterland of Kenya, not local", says to Agenzia Fides His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Alexander, Bishop of Garissa, in north-eastern Kenya, bordering Somalia, in whose diocese the town of Mandera is included, where in a housing complex for workers six people were killed. The massacre was perpetrated on the night of October 6, and the responsibility was claimed by the Shabaab who said they wanted to kill Christians.
Over the past two years, the Shabaab have perpetrated several massacres against non-Somalis and non-Muslims in the area. The most serious was that in the University of Garissa, where 148 people were massacred on the basis of their religious affiliation.
"The Shabaab have alienated the support of much of the Somali population, who are all of Islamic religion, for the massacres committed against other Muslims. This is why when the Shabaab in Kenya hit a crowded place, they discriminate between Muslims and Christians, saving the first and killing the second", explained at the time to Fides Mgr. Alessandro (see Fides 08/04/2015), adding that "these terrorist attacks are carried out in retaliation for Kenya's military presence in Somalia, whose troops played an important role in throwing the Shabaab out from important coastal areas, disrupting the lucrative trade with which the fundamentalist movement is financed".
In the case of the massacre of October 6, says the Bishop: "some of our local contacts told us that at least initially it was not known if the perpetrators of the massacre were the Shabaab or some other group for criminal reasons. Some of the workers who were in the housing complex where the massacre took place worked in a stone quarry whose owners had been denounced by them because they did not pay salaries. Therefore at first it was thought that revenge was carried out because of the workers’ complaint. But this is not the case since the Shabaab have claimed responsibility". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/10/2016)

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