News / Africa

    Kenyan University Reopens Nine Months After Horrific Attack

    An armed security officer checks a student entering the Garissa university college, in Garissa, Kenya, on Jan. 4, 2016.
    An armed security officer checks a student entering the Garissa university college, in Garissa, Kenya, on Jan. 4, 2016.

    Kenya has reopened Garissa University College, the scene of the single deadliest terrorist attack in East Africa since the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.

    Teachers and some students returned to the college Monday, nine months after gunmen rampaged through the eastern Kenyan school and killed 148 people, all but five of them students. Classes are set to resume next week.

    The college was scheduled to reopen during the summer, but officials decided to move up the date last month when government officials and MPs visited the town.

    Ethnic Somali politicians representing Garissa town told the government they were determined to reopen the only university in the region, said college principal Ahmed Osman Warfa.

    He said the decision ultimately stemmed from a desire to move on.

    FILE - Mortuary workers and Kenya Red Cross volunteers carry the coffin April 8, 2015, containing the body of a student killed during an attack by gunmen at Garissa University in Kenya.
    FILE - Mortuary workers and Kenya Red Cross volunteers carry the coffin April 8, 2015, containing the body of a student killed during an attack by gunmen at Garissa University in Kenya.

    "We were attacked, we are aggrieved, we are saddened but we have to move on. Counseling has been done, and life has to go on," he told VOA's Somali Service.

    New students

    The college had about 800 students at the time of the attack, but only 80 of those will be back next week to resume their education. They will be joined by about 170 new students, Warfa said.

    Al-Shabab has carried out dozens of attacks in Kenya since Kenyan troops crossed the border to fight the group in 2011. Prior to last April, al-Shabab's deadliest attack was the 2013 assault on Nairobi's Westgate Mall that left 67 people dead.

    Garissa, which sits about 150 kilometers from the Somali border, was considered a remote and safe area until the morning of April 2, 2015, when five gunmen stormed the campus and began to summon students out of dormitories. 

    Witnesses and officials said the attackers spared Muslims during the daylong assault while singling out and shooting Christians.

    FILE - People sing as they attend a memorial concert at the "Freedom Corner" in Kenya's capital Nairobi, April 14, 2015, in memory of the Garissa university students who were killed by gunmen.
    FILE - People sing as they attend a memorial concert at the "Freedom Corner" in Kenya's capital Nairobi, April 14, 2015, in memory of the Garissa university students who were killed by gunmen.

    Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said the group's intention was to divide communities in Kenya along religious lines. But it appears they failed. When al-Shabab hijacked a bus in Kenya's Mandera district last month, the Muslims on board — in an unprecedented action — refused to be separated from the Christians. The gunmen let the bus and its passengers go.

    No 'more attacks'

    Warfa said he is not worried about another attack on the college.

    "We don't expect any more attacks because we have enough security. We have a police force inside the university, we have 30 police officers and we are hoping they will be able to take care of all the security measures inside and outside the university," he said.

    Four of the gunmen who stormed the campus that day were killed by security forces, while a fifth blew himself up with explosives. The government has since arrested five more men, all of them charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist act.

    However, two militants the Kenyan government named as the "masterminds" of the attack, Mohamed Kuno and Ahmed Iman, are still at large.

    Kuno, also known as Dulyadayn, is the commander of al-Shabab forces in the Juba regions, while Iman is the head of al-Hijra, Shabab's Kenya branch. The government has offered rewards of $20,000 each for information leading to their capture.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora