We spoke to a crisis consultant and negotiator on how Kenya can avoid shooting itself in the foot after Dusit Hotel, Nairobi terror attack

Vehicle burning after an attack at Dusit hotel
  • On Wednesday morning, a somber President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the nation and announced the terror attack was over.
  • Somali Islamist group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in Kenya capital, according to Aljazeera.
  • If past behavior of the Kenyan security forces and Kenyans is anything to by then the Somali community in Kenya have reasons to be worried.

As Kenya starts to come to reality with Tuesday’s terror attack which claimed 21 lives and saw over 700 civilians evacuated, it is only perhaps human to start questioning who could have carried out the heinous crime.

Somali Islamist group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in Kenya capital, according to Aljazeera.

On Wednesday morning, a somber President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the nation and announced the terror attack was over.

"Kenya was yesterday struck by gang of criminals who hoped to terrorize our people by committing acts of murder and mayhem. I can now confirm that as of about one hour ago, the security operation at Dusit complex is over and all the terrorists eliminated" said President Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta said all the terrorists have been eliminated and vowed to bring all the perpetrators of the terror attack to justice.

"We are also a nation that never forgets those who hurt our children," said President Kenyatta.

If past behavior of the Kenyan security forces and Kenyans is anything to by then the Somali community in Kenya have reasons to be worried.

The Somali community in Kenya has been targeted before and profiled whenever a terror attack has happened in the country.

Business Insider Sub-Saharan spoke to Dr. Rosalind Raddatz, Director, Office of the Provost & Assistant Professor, Politics at Aga Khan University who has vast experience as a crisis consultant and negotiator. 

Dr. Rosalind says targeting the Somali community in Kenya is a bad idea and akin to shooting one’s feet.

“The average Somali is not any different from the average Kenyan, they are looking to provide for their families, they are looking for opportunities just like you are me and you need not look very far to recognize that,” says Dr Rosalind, a lifelong activist for human rights, refugees, and educational emancipation.

One such average Somali who is a victim of the Kenya’s Tuesday terror attack but due to his community and religion may end up being profiled is a father whose son miraculously survived the heinous crime. 

“I was born in North Eastern and I am a Kenyan Somali and we have we have a huge tag problem, just like other Kenyans we too have lost our children and we are in this together. Islam does not condone terrorism and terrorists do not have religion or tribe, We Somalis are sometimes victims and suspects of terrorism at the same time and it is sad. It is just a mindset that is being set by the western Media that when you hear of a terrorist what automatically comes into your mind is a Muslim so they identified us with terror but I can say we are not terrorists, we are Kenyans and I pray we can stay together and help each other slay this terrorism dragon,” He told a local media house as he recounted how he camped at Dusit Hotel worried sick for his son’s safety.

At the end of the day, Dr. Rosalind, who is also the Chair of the Executive Board for RefuSHE, an organization that works with unaccompanied minor refugee girls in East Africa says that Kenyans have no reason to worry or stereotype and profile the Somalia community in Kenya.

There is a huge and vibrant community of Somali Kenyans who have lived in Kenya for many years peacefully and who have no desire on creating instability in Kenya whatsoever,”

Terrorism has no religion or tribe and we should never allow our unfounded fears to drive a wedge in our society since doing so will be exactly be playing to terrorists tune, she advises.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke