NAIROBI — Religious leaders in Kenya have condemned Saturday’s terror attack in an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi that has so far killed at least 59 people and left 175 others wounded. The inter-religious council said the attack will not divide Kenyans along religious lines, but terrorism will make its people strong to face and defeat militants.
Speaking to reporters in Nairobi, religious leaders under the umbrella of the Inter-religious council said the terrorists will not succeed and their actions will not scare people from living in an open and free society.
Reading the statement on behalf of the religious leaders, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Secretary General Adan Wachu said despite the latest attack which is being claimed by the Somali militant group al-Shabab, the Kenyan people are united to face the challenge.
Wachu also said they are working together with other religious leaders to avoid religious violence.
“We, the religious leaders, are engaged in robust dialogue to ensure that these relations are not just maintained but also made stronger. We are convinced beyond doubt that the attempt to sow seeds of discord between Muslims and Christians will fail miserably and that we shall remain united,” said Wachu.
The religious leaders say the shopping mall siege was an act to cripple the economy of the country and scare its people and visitors.
Bishop Joel Waweru of Anglican Church of Kenya called for his followers and his countrymen to maintain peace.
“We are so disheartened with whatever happened, but we would want to call upon our Christian brothers and sisters to keep peace and to maintain peace,” said Waweru.
According to security observers, the al-Qaida linked group al-Shabab has been weakened by a concerted military effort from African Union troops and Somali government forces, but the group still carries out hit-and-run attacks against the Somali government, and the rebel group has long warned of plans to carry out a deadly strike in Kenya.