Kenyans across the country are honoring in vigils the 148 murdered people, mostly Christian students, who lost their lives in the terror attack last week at Garissa University College. Friends and relatives have started a campaign titled #147notjustanumber, named after the original death count, where they are reminding the world that the victims were real people with real hopes and dreams that were taken away.
The campaign, which has spread throughout social media, has focused on revealing the faces of the victims, by sharing their stories and memories from loved ones.
The Somali terror group al-Shabaab, which killed nearly 150 students in a targeted attack on Christians at Kenya's Garissa University College last week, is rooted in a religious ideology and is not too different from the Islamic State in its ambition, said religious freedom scholar Paul Marshall of Hudson Institute in an interview.
Terrorist groups, including al-Shabaab, follow different kinds of interpretations of the Quran, "but they are similar to the Wahhabi school in Saudi Arabia," Marshall, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C., told The Christian Post.
Asked about the al-Qaeda-affiliated group's ambitions outside of Somalia, Marshall said its attacks in Kenya are partly in revenge for Kenyan troops fighting its militants in Somalia, "but its ambition goes far beyond that." more >>
Kenya's government is facing increasing criticism for failing to read warning signs and for a systematic state failure that led to the massacre at Garissa University College in Kenya, where 148 people, mostly Christian students, were murdered last week. The security officers who shot down the four terrorists carrying out the killings, have, meanwhile, expressed dissatisfaction at the lack of pay, and have reportedly recieved so far only the equivelent of $5 USD.
"There is no sure-fire prevention against terrorist attacks," Horn of Africa analyst Abdullahi Boru Halakhe, an academic and expert on the region, told AFP.
"But the scale of the Garissa attack, the prior warning and the regularity with which these attacks have been occurring, points to systemic state failure – and the buck stops with the president." more >>
A police source has said that despite the alarm sounding last week of the massacre taking place at Garissa University College in Kenya, where close to 150 Christian students were killed, authorities took hours to respond, and ever arrived at the scene after politicians and journalists.
The source, who wasn't named, told CNN on Monday that the government's rapid response team was held up in the capital of Nairobi for hours, apparently arranging for transport, before it finally made its way to Garissa. more >>
Kenyan Christian leaders mourned and offered prayers on Easter Sunday for the 148 people, mostly Christian students, slaughtered last week at Garissa University College. The Kenyan government has meanwhile responded by bombing bases belonging to terror group al-Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the attack.
"We join the sufferings of the relatives and the victims with the sufferings of Jesus," said Bishop Joseph Alessandro of Our Lady of Consolation Church. "The victims will rise again with Christ."
The Associated Press reported that several hundred Christians marked Easter at the Catholic church in Garissa, and many more around the country and across the world remembered the students during the religious holiday. more >>
Responding to al-Shabaab's threat of more "bloodbath" in his country following the targeted killing of Christian students at Garissa University College, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said he will "respond in the severest ways possible," although Kenyans blamed his "corrupt" administration for the attack.
In an address that was televized across the nation Saturday, Kenyatta promised his government will "respond in the severest ways possible" to the Garissa attack, in which militants from al-Shabaab killed nearly 150 students Thursday.