22 Jun '14

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Terrorism Holds Religion Hostage in Kenya

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Terrorism undoubtedly is one of the major security concerns of the world. In many African countries, terrorism is increasingly changing the way of life and very existence of the people.

For instance, Nigerians cannot watch the ongoing FIFA world cup in public places for fear of being targets of Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. Kenyans are also having their lives totally reshaped by the activities of militant group Al-shabaab.

The government has currently banned Christians from organising all-night church services. This is part of measures to protect lives in what appears to be the continuous attacks and mass killing of Kenyans by militant groups over the past few days.

Mombasa county commissioner, Nelson Marwa has ordered chiefs to carry out checks at churches and bars that operate late at night without alerting the police.

“We don’t want to interfere with Kenyans’ democratic rights but they should be conducted within the law. Churches are soft targets and we do not want people to land into trouble,” said Marwa.

Already, Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria is reeling under insurgency attacks from Boko Haram, with over 200 girls abducted and many others killed on a daily basis. Can Africa afford to handle the situation in both Nigeria and Kenya?

A few days ago, suspected Islamist extremists killed many Kenyans in an attack suspected to have mainly targeted non-Muslims. More than 60 people have been killed in the serialised attack so far. Interestingly the president, Uhuru Kenyatta is blaming the attacks on local political foes but Al-shabaab has claimed responsibility.

Whatever the situation, terrorist activities are getting out of hand in Africa and the earlier we realised this, the better. Today, Nigeria and Kenya seem to be on the chopping board and we are quietly watching the horror unfold on TV and reading the gory details in the papers. But how safe is the rest of our Continent?

Kwame Danso Acheampong

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