Whilst security issues continue to concern the country, today, Garissa University College officially reopened after the attack which killed almost 150 people nine months ago, reported the BBC. However, although extra security measures have been taken to protects students at the university, safety continues to be a major concern within the country, predominantly in the north.
Kenya has recently been facing an increase of security challenges. Attacks across the country have been rising causing Kenya to be on high alert, especially since the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab split into two factions, one supporting al-Qaida and the other aligning with the Islamic State. Inspector General of Police, Joseph Boinnet, two weeks ago warned of “real terror threats” in Kenya due to the split.
From 2011, when Kenya sent officers of the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) as part of the African Union (AU) into Somalia to help contain al-Shabaab, terrorist acts on the country have dramatically increased. Later in 2014, as the terrorist group faced setbacks within Somalia, they started to turn their attention to Kenya, intensifying their attacks on the country. This, along with infrastructural and regional security woes has created further obstacles for trade and the economy.
Concern for security not only comes from attacks committed by al-Shabaab – security officials have also been accused of violent acts against Kenyans after two people were killed on Monday December 28 when their vehicle was allegedly shot at by officers of the KDF. Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia stated that “preliminary investigations show the civilian vehicle blocked the military van and KDF sensed danger, hence opening fire. Three people were injured, including a lady who was hit by stray bullets.”
Security concerns is Kenya need to be addressed in order for the country to continue to prosper. While al-Shabaab may be showing signs of dwindling power they continue to be a threat to the stability of the region and need to be dealt with sooner rather than later.