Kenya: Government must increase protection of people living in Garissa

Responding to this morning’s horrific attack on a university college in Garissa northern Kenya, Amnesty International urged the Kenyan authorities to urgently increase protection of people living in that region. Garissa University College, a constituent college of Moi University, is located in a region known to be vulnerable to Al Shabaab attacks. 

Amnesty International’s East Africa Regional Director Muthoni Wanyeki said: 

“Citizens and public servants in the north have repeatedly expressed fears about their vulnerability to Al Shabaab attacks which the Kenyan government has failed to appropriately address. Learning institutions are meant to be safe places for students and their teachers. Their protection must be fully guaranteed.

“It is the government’s responsibility to guarantee the security of all its citizens, including those in the north – and to do everything legally in their power to prevent such attacks from taking place at all. 

“We urge the Government of Kenya to act decisively and within the Constitution and the law to ensure protection for those under or at risk of attack in Garissa and other areas of the north.”

Amnesty also urges the authorities to conduct a prompt, impartial and effective investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

Background

According to the Kenya Red Cross, so far, the attack has resulted in 65 casualties including an unspecified number of students and residents. Five casualties have been airlifted to Nairobi for treatment.  Additional people are believed to be missing and are presumed kidnapped.  Both local and International media have reported the armed group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. 

 

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