If you don’t know what transpired in Nairobi, Kenya over this past weekend, then you have most definitely been living under a rock. Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab rebels stormed an upmarket shopping centre, and just opened fire. There have been reports that non-Muslim shoppers were targeted, and Muslim shoppers allowed to leave, but I have yet to see a confirmed report regarding that rumour. The rebels allegedly allowed a brief window of about 5 minutes for women to gather up children and remove them from the centre, and I heard on the radio this morning that a women grabbed her child as well as 2 other random children and pushed them in a trolley to escape the attack. A 4 year old little boy apparently went up to one of the attackers, and told him that he was a ‘bad man’. A 4 year old boy.
The pictures that I have seen since Saturday have sent cold shivers down my spine. I’m not going to post links to these pictures, and nor will I post any of these pictures, because I find it absolutely despicable, that the majority of the ‘western world’ ie: the 1st world countries, have printed and published pictures of bullet ridden bodies, children standing next to dead bodies etc. Yes, I clicked on the links to view the pictures, and I am perhaps also to blame for fuelling the flames of the fire in doing so, but answer me this. The western world would not publish the picture of a dead Osama Bin Laden, a man whom many around the world wanted to see dead for the crimes he had committed against humanity, yet they will publish pictures of unknown, innocent people, brutally gunned down by a group of cowardly rebels? This is a crime in itself. Relatives of those killed in the 4 day attack have to go and privately identify the bodies of their loved ones in the morgue which I can only imagine to be one of the hardest things to ever do, yet their bodies are splashed all over the morning newspaper?
I have posted a few links to a reputable online South African news site, and there are no bloody pictures for you to view on these links. Well, at least none that I’ve seen.
Kenyatta: We’ve ‘defeated’ mall militants
SA to probe ‘white widow’ passport
Al-Shabaab threaten more attacks
Mourning period begins after mall siege
SA woman missing in Kenya
Sniffer dogs, robots scan Kenyan mall
Briton held after Kenyan mall siege
We might be based in the ‘3rd world’ but we have feelings. We love, we hurt, we cry. The Kenyan president’s nephew and his fiancé were killed in this brutal attack; how would Barack Obama or David Cameron feel, seeing their loved ones bodies splashed all over social networks, and in newspapers? So many countries have been affected by this attack, from Americans to Britons, Indians to South Africans. 63 people are confirmed dead, and scores are still missing after a section of the mall collapsed yesterday. The Westgate Shopping Mall that was targeted, was very popular with expatriates, as well as the wealthy. Diverse and different groups frequented that mall; each and every person affected by this awful attack must be respected and treated in a dignified manner, whether they were based in a 1st or 3rd world country.
Kenya; we grieve with and for you.
Amani na iwe kwenu na wapendwa wako ~ Peace be with you and your loved ones (Swahili)