Catholic group calls for unity after kenya’s deadly attack
Al-Shabaab radical Islamic terrorist group has attacked the DusitD2 Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday 15 January, killing 21 people and injuring 28 with 19 still missing according to Kenya’s Red Cross.
Among those killed are Jason Spindler, 40-year-old Jewish American executive of I-DEV International, an American Tech firm. Jason’s brother, Jonathan, on his Facebook post, said, “It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that my brother, Jason Spindler, passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi,” adding that “Jason was a survivor of 9/11 (terrorist attack in the USA) and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell,” Jonathan said.
UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, has also confirmed the killing of a British citizen, Luke Potter saying, “at least one British national has been killed in the attack. We are providing our support to his family and friends at this very difficult time and our thoughts are with them.”
Luke Potter was working for the international development charity Gatsby. A statement by the organisation said it is “shocked and saddened to confirm that Luke Potter, our Africa Programmes Director, was killed in the recent security incident in Nairobi.” The statement further stated that “Luke had devoted the past ten years of his career to helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. He had worked with us for three and a half years, carrying out assignments across East Africa.”
A London-based firm Adam Smith International also confirmed two of its staff; Abdalla Dahir, 33, and Feisal Ahmed, 31, who were both Somali-Kenyans, were shot dead during the attack.
A Catholic international development charity, Catholic Agency For Overseas Development, CAFOD, has appealed to Kenyans to stand united despite the attack by the terrorists. Catherine Ogolla, CAFOD’s Country Representative said “What terrorists of any type want is to divide communities and sow violence, so all peoples must stand together for peace and unity in this time of trouble, sending the message out that any form of violent terror will not succeed; will not divide the Kenyan nation,” the Christian Charity said.
“The Kenyan people need a sustained commitment to peace, we cannot allow these events to derail that. Most of all we know that extremism thrives on hopelessness so above all we must continue to work together to offer hope for a brighter future to all the peoples of Kenya,” Ogolla added. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by this horrific attack.”
Kenyatta, Kenya’s President, in a televised address, urged Kenyans to “go back to work without fear.”
Muslim leaders in Kenya have also condemned the terrorist attack. Al-Hajj Hassan, Vice Chair, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), said “the so-called acts of terrorism are acts of criminality and has nothing to do with religion. If it was about religion, we could not have bombs blowing up in Somalia where almost 99 per cent of people there are Muslims; there is nothing religious about terrorism this is an act of crime,” he said.
The terrorist Islamic group, Al-Shabab in 2013 attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi killing 67 people. The Tuesday attack has come exactly three years to the day after an attack on a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.
It’s deadliest attack was at Garissa University in 2015, in which 147 people, mostly students were killed.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos