Armed terrorists attacked one of Kenya’s premier shopping establishments – Westgate – killing indiscriminately and taking many innocent shoppers hostage.
Dutch TV’s Africa correspondent Kees Broere who has covered war, crime and disasters across the continent for more than 30 years described the Kenyan situation as unique.
“I have been in many conflicts and disasters, but this is on a sad note, one of its kind,” Broere who is among the dozens of journalists who covered the tragedy pointed out.
Watching from a distance of 300 metres from the troubled mall, he noted that, “the whole situation was complicated from the day it started. I can’t remember covering a terror and hostage crisis of this magnitude.”
The journalist, like many observers, wondered how the terrorists managed to get such heavy artillery into the shopping mall.
“It is evident that they have heavy machines inside; how did they even get into the building in the first place?” he posed.
Interior Minister Joseph ole Lenku said on Wednesday that investigators were probing all leads, including rumours that the attackers could have used one of the shops in the mall to store their weapons.
Though on a foreign land, Broere says he sees Kenya as his home, saying the unifying Twitter trend #WeAreOne also rang true to him.
“We are one, we have seen people lining up to donate blood and even the president teaming up with his arch rival; the former prime minister in addressing the nation side by side,” he said.
He however challenges Kenyans to remain united even after the tragedy is over.
“Now we say… there is crisis and we are all united but the actual crisis will be over very soon, I hope we can then continue saying…we are one,” he appealed.
To Broere, the Westgate terrorist attack was unique – it brought Kenyans together.