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Fourth Anniversary Of Garissa University College Attack; Are We More Alert Now Than Then?

On 2 April 2015, gunmen stormed the Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya, killing 148 people, mostly student, and injuring over 75 more. The militant group and Al-Qaeda offshoot, Al-Shabaab, which the gunmen claimed to be from, took responsibility for the attack.

The gunmen took over 700 students hostage, freeing Muslims and killing those who identified as Christians. The siege ended the same day, when all four of the attackers were killed.

Five men were later arrested in connection with the attack, and a bounty was placed for the arrest of a suspected organizer.

The attack was the deadliest in Kenya since the 1998 United States embassy bombings, and is the second deadliest overall, with more casualties than the 2002 Mombasa attacks, the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack, the 2014 Nairobi bus bombings, the 2014 Gikomba bombings, the 2014 Mpeketoni attacks, the 2014 Lamu attacks and the 2019 DusitD2 Hotel Complex attacks.

Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons In the hands of Kenyans

Experts have expressed concerns over the manning of Kenya’s borders.

There have been an increase of guns in the hands of private citizens in Kenya. This is a potential fuel to terrorist activities.

Conflict prone areas in Kenya such as the north and north-eastern frontier counties east are major contributors or markets to illegal arms trade.

In Kenya, illegal guns fuel robbery incidents, especially in major towns and cattle rustling or/and land disputes in other areas across the country. Border areas are particularly prone to experience gun conflicts.

Kenya has suffered numerous terror attacks which are not due to weak laws but weak enforcement of the laws and porous borders that enable easy access to arms.

If we count the human cost of those who die in terror attacks; they are not just statistics. They are uncles, brothers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters; most of who are breadwinners.

Terror leaves behind a trail of destruction. Some families shattered forever.

The government should do much to be able to assure the citizens of their safety and mop up the over 750,000 guns in private hands (Small Arms Survey 2014 – 2016)

In short, proliferation of arms makes it easier for common criminals, militants and terrorists to
acquire arms to spread terror.

Ministry of Interior should do something.

Recent Scare

A lift at the Kenyatta University malfunctioned sending student scampering for safety, some were injured, after jumping from 3rd floor.

Universities in Kenya should put measures in place to make students conversant with security drills in case of attacks.

However, the onus remains with the ministry of interior and the intelligence agencies to avert attacks.

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