, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Muslim leaders led by Leader of the Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale have condemned the Saturday morning killing of 28 unarmed Kenyans by suspected Al Shabaab militants in Mandera.
The leaders who include the Governors of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa as well as Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Aden Mohamed, said the act was meant to divide Kenyans along religious lines and should not be allowed to succeed.
They asked Kenyans to remain as united as they did following the Westgate terror attack. “We must stand together united to fight Al Shabaab and all other terror groups,” Duale urged.
The leaders said the killers only used Islam as a guise to commit the atrocity and should not in any way be seen to represent the Kenyan Muslim community.
“It is a shame that the targets of this attack were teachers and healthcare workers who left their homes to contribute to the uplifting of our region,” the Governor of Wajir, Ahmed Abdullahi, said.
Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Mohamed said that Muslims and Kenyans in general could do more to assist in avoiding a repeat attack.
“I would like to appeal to our Muslim colleagues who often times have not been seen to be fighting as hard and coming forward as strongly as we possibly should, in not only condemning but really supporting and joining the war against this terror,” he said.
In addition to pledging their support to the security agencies, the leaders called for increased patrols along the Kenya-Somalia border.
“I warned the local police that there was talk of suspicious activity along the border. The spike in attacks should have by themselves elicited a stronger reaction,” Mandera Governor Ali Roba who was a victim of one such attack last month, said.
Duale also called on President Uhuru Kenyatta “to do more,” that could include increasing Kenyan troops in Somalia. “There are things that he can do.”
On his part, Roba said his county government would assist in the laying to rest those who lost lives in the attack.
The leaders were reacting to the killing of 19 men and nine women five kilometres from the Kenya-Somalia border, in Mandera, early on Saturday morning.
They were on board a bus headed to Nairobi when armed men reportedly waylaid them, separated them from those they believed to be Muslims and killed them in a scenario reminiscent of the attack on the Westgate mall in September of 2013.