The weekend’s horrific al-Shabaab attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall is still not over, and the context and consequences of the attack are uncertain. Despite Kenyan authorities’ claim of “full control” of the building, at last report the militants were still “hiding” and many hostages remained unaccounted for. Westgate is upmarket, and the victims are also up-market, including the nephew of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his fiancé.
There are also many unanswered questions, such as:
-Who exactly are the attackers? There are competing twitter feeds with lists of names that are promptly withdrawn or repudiated by al-Shabaab in Somalia.
-Was the attack directed from Somalia, or did it originate within the large Somali community in Kenya, some of whom support al-Shabaab?
-Presumably the motivation for the attack was the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia. But were there other motivations as well, such as an attack by the poor and dispossessed from the Nairobi slums on the rich?
Read more. [Image: Reuters]