Capital FM (Nairobi)

19 November 2012

Kenya: Attack in Eastleigh, Ensuing Xenophobia Deplorable

opinion

The Muslim Human Rights Forum (MHRF) wishes to condemn in the strongest terms possible the senseless killings in the explosion that hit a matatu in Eastleigh on Sunday and the xenophobic attacks that have been witnessed since that gruesome attack.

The attack on the matatu by an explosive was a merciless, dastardly and murderous act by criminal elements that cannot be justifiable by whatever means and the perpetrators must be legally sought and be made to suffer for the horrific crime against innocent passengers.

In the same vein, those who have resorted to attacking members of the Somali community for allegedly being involved in the attack on the matatu must be arrested and be brought to book for equally unacceptable reprisal attacks on a community that cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be held responsible for the crimes of individuals, known or unknown.

The xenophobic attacks must be stopped at all costs lest they escalate to unmanageable mayhem at grave costs to the nation.

It is regrettable that the police have been looking on as goons attack people, invading homes and looting property. There are unconfirmed reports of people having been killed, many seriously injured amidst attempts to torch Mosques in the area, acts that could degenerate into inter-religious fighting with dangerous consequences if left to go on.

The government has an obligation to ensure that peace and harmony prevail and therefore must act decisively to stop these attacks.

It is also worrying that the media has not adequately focused on the xenophobic attacks as disturbing as they are, with the potential they have of blowing up to full scale warfare that threatens the lives of many.

It is still not yet known who the culprits in Sunday's killings are but even if those suspected were Somalis, it does not mean that the whole community was involved or supported the dastardly act.

The explosion must be seen for what it was, a terrible criminal act by criminals - individuals and NOT a community.

Ultimately, the police have a bigger responsibility of ensuring that peace and security prevails.

They should not allow this mayhem to continue hence standing by and watching as the parties fight it out is as reprehensible as participating in the crimes and an act of grave irresponsibility.

Kimathi is the chairman of the Muslim Human Rights Forum

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