Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "The goal of Shabaab is to 'liberate' the north-east of Kenya, inhabited by Kenyans of Somali origin, from the non-Muslims and non-Somalis", says to Agenzia Fides His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Alessandro, Coadjutor Bishop of Garissa, in north-eastern Kenya, bordering Somalia, where in the early hours of July 7, 14 people were killed and 11 wounded in an attack attributed to Shabaab Somalis.
"Just like the attacks that took place before, workers coming from other areas of Kenya, therefore non-Somalis and non-Muslims are being targeted. Unfortunately it seems that this strategy is having success", says the Bishop to Fides. "Already several non-local workers have fled from Mandera in recent months. The most affected sectors are health and education. Throughout the north-east education is in serious difficulty because of the lack of teachers, coming from other areas of the country, who refuse to go back to work there".
"We must say, however, that the Shabaab are also targeting several Muslim leaders who do not think like them and who support the government's action", added Mgr. Alessandro.
"If this project of 'ethnic and religious cleansing' were to be completed, the Shabaab will declare these territories as 'Islamic lands' and perhaps join the Caliphate. The government in Nairobi is trying to do everything possible so that Kenyans from other areas remain in the Northeast, because the whole area is likely to be destabilized", concluded Mgr. Alessandro.
In the area the Shabaab committed several attacks in November and December (see Fides 24/11/2014 and 02/12/2014), the bloodiest attack was committed in April at the university campus of Garissa, where 148 students were killed (see Fides 08/04/2015).